The establishment of paternity is only necessary when the biological father of the child is not on the child’s birth certificate. If the biological father of the child is on the birth certificate, a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship should be filed.
Paternity testing is always available to either establish paternity or to deny paternity. While it is highly recommended that a paternity test be done, it is not required. The pitfall of not doing a paternity test is that, if it is discovered later that the alleged biological father is, in fact, not the father of the child, it will be difficult to reverse the prior order…unless the Order Establishing Paternity was a default order. Even if the court agrees to consider terminating the rights of the legal father following the entry of a paternity order, any child support paid for the support of that child will not be ordered to be paid back to the legal Father.
These are just a few of the challenges that may exist in a paternity case, and illustrates the need for an experienced family law attorney.