Last name issue

Maria - posted on 03/31/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )




I had my daughter last year. I got married and 2 weeks later I found out my husband had been cheating on me for a long time. I was already pregnant. So we split up. He was upset because he didn't want me to have my daughter in the US, I am American and he is not. He wanted me to give birth in Colombia. However, I decided to leave the country because I thought that if I had her there he would have never let me leave the country with her. He went berserk and acted as jerk. When I gave birth I decided to give her my last name to avoid any problems if I traveled back to Colombia to visit my family. He found out I did not give her his last name and got pretty upset and now he asked me nicely to change her last name to his. I haven't accepted .01 cent for Child Support. I don't want to share custody, I want full custody.
Now he keeps asking me to send a copy of her passport so that he can find out the steps to follow to change her last name.
Now my questions are:
1) can he take away my daughter
2) if we are still married is it illegal to put in the birth certificate "unknown father"
3) how long does it take to change a last name.

Please if anyone can help me to know about the legal rights and any vital information that


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/31/2014




Guest is a bit off, but only one one thing: In the US, a parent cannot change the name of a child without the consent of the other parent, and this usually involves a court proceeding. ANY name change in the US will involve a court proceeding, even if parents are married and in full accord.

However, your ex may be able to change the child's name in Colombia. I don't know, never been there, and don't know the legalities there.

Yes, it is illegal, in the US (as far as I know) to lie on the birth certificate. By indicating 'unknown', you lied.

In the US, a legal name change, filed through vital records takes 6-8 weeks. As I said, it will involve a court proceeding. We did not have to appear for ours, but I'd imagine that, should a person respond to the petition when posted, you may have to appear.

The bottom line is that you're in two countries with this battle. Both countries' laws need to be taken into account. Technically, you created this child with that man, and he (and she) deserve the same chance at forging a relationship as you & she have. Anything else, in my opinion, is selfish.

Guest - posted on 03/31/2014




I know how things work on the US side, but I don't know about the Columbia side, so here is what I know.

1.) In the US, you need a court order establishing custody. Without a court order, he can legally come get the child at any time and refuse to give her back. You do not have to give him the baby just because he asks, but if he forcefully takes her from you, you don't have much legal recourse because he is the father. Also, if he can prove in court that you tried to prohibit contact between him and his child, it will not look good for you, but if you can prove that you were afraid he would leave the country with the child, you can justify not letting him see her. If you have the court order and he refuses to give her back when he is ordered, he can be jailed. That said, if he does take her out of the country, your chances of getting her back are slim to none. The Social Service system in the states is always flooded, so unless you can afford a very good lawyer to mediate between the countries, it is not likely Family Court or Social Services will be able to help you.

2.) Your husband cannot change your daughter's name without your consent. That said, if you know who the father is, it is illegal to put unknown father on the birth certificate. SOME states will allow you to put "mother refuses to state" or to leave it blank, but you have to check laws for your state because they vary. In most states, if you are still legally married, and have not begun formal divorce proceedings, and you leave it blank, the husband is the assumed father; however, that does not mean you have to give the baby his name.

3.) I have no idea how long it takes.


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