Can I change my son's last name without his father's consent?

Cecilia - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My ex and I were together when my son was born and I mistakenly gave him his father's last name assuming that he would play an active role in his son's life. Well, he has not seen my son in over a year and has never paid child support. Even though his name is on my son's birth certificate, does anyone know if it is possible to change my son's last name to mine without getting his father's consent? How can I change my sons last name?

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Jessica - posted on 03/27/2010

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I went through that with my sons biological father a few years ago. I saw a lawyer, and if a parent has not seen or paid child support in 6 months or more you can file abandoment ande terminate any rights they would have to the child. This way you can change whatever you want. I did it and it was a open and shut case. The dad no longer has any rights. Good luck.

Tracy - posted on 03/28/2010

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u can only change your sons last name to yours IF you have full custody of your son with out the dads consent to change it....and if u have joint-custody u need him to sign papers saying he gives you the consent to you to do that but i dont think he would because that is how men are..i want to change my boys last name to but i have full custody of my boys but not my daughter and they have the same last name as there dad and i want to change theres as well but i can only change my boys name to mine cause i have full custody of them because why should they carry on his lame ass last name when he dose not pay child support and does not come around for 4 yrs and has other kids besides mine....well i hope i help...and good luck!!!

Dawn - posted on 03/28/2010

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I am a uk lawyer and if you live in the uk I can tell you that to officially change his name you would need the father's consent. Your child will probably want to know who his father is when he gets older despite him not having anything to do with the child during his life and if you change his name now you may have to answer a lot of awkward questions when he gets older - just a thought

Mz Trini - posted on 06/01/2010

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did you find out if thats possible im in the same situatuation

Jawaka - posted on 06/02/2010

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You should go to your state's website and type in the search engine about changing surname. I live in PA and in order to change the last name here you need permission of both parents, listing in the paper, and some other supporting documents as to why you are requesting the change.

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22 Comments

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Cristal - posted on 06/02/2010

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I think you have to go to court and petition the court to get it done.

Iridescent - posted on 06/01/2010

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I gave my daughter a last name different from that of any I've had or her biological father's. It was requested in court by the father that her name be changed to his, and I objected, and her name was left. You can originally name your children ANYTHING you wish. After, though, it depends on where you live. Here, you need the other parent's permission until 14 years I believe it is (old enough to know what you want).

Sheree - posted on 03/28/2010

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I wanted to change my own name back to my mothers maiden name when i was 14, and was advised that i couldnt do it without my dad's consent until after i was 16.

Allison - posted on 03/28/2010

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as far as im aware to change the name on the birth cert you need both parents concent, unless u have been to court and the judge has ruled the father incompetant and has nothing to do with the child...if you want to know the law for your state/country call legal aide they should know

Ellen - posted on 03/28/2010

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That's good. You were able to get it all sorted out so easily. It is still an emotionally draining time. Enjoy your life now.

Jane - posted on 03/27/2010

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I had the same problem and he still didn't see them for 7 years! In BC, you have to prove you cannot find him for a year, which I could (even the Family Maintenance people couldn't find him. They receive support payments from the payee once ordered by the court and send them to me, collect interest and arrears etc., which he had plenty of.). I am so happy I changed my girls' last name to mine as he or his family had absolutely nothing to do with their upbringing. Good luck with it.

Ellen - posted on 03/27/2010

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I'm not real sure of the degree of circumstances needed, BUT, I do know a couple of things.
1. Your son can go by ANY surname, so long as it isn't for Legal matters. [eg buying land, making Stat Decs etc.,
2. You can apply to the courts [I don't know if it is state or federal] but the court can grant the change. I think you can do the prep yourself and it wouldn't be too expensive.
Because of the problems with my Ex I changed my surname [and the kids 4] they went by that name for years and as they turned 18 yrs we did it formally by 'Deed Poll'. Initially [for myself and my oldest son] through a Solicitor. Very expensive. Then I found the courts here supply a 'Format' and with the aid of my computer have done MANY 'Deed Polls' for the grand total of about $60.
We lived in a 'Socially Deprived' community, were many mums had changed names during the first 18 yrs of the child's life, so I became rather proficient at doing these forms. {I live in Queensland Australia. Each country/state may be different]
You can always seek the advice of a 'Free:legal Advice' service in your area.
Hope this has been of some use to you.

Donna - posted on 03/24/2010

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You need to check the laws in the state you live in. Normally,you can't but I think it is legal to just add your last name to his.

Andrea - posted on 03/24/2010

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Yes, at least in the state of Delaware the father does not have to sign. My husband's ex got remarried and his son has been very close to his new stepfather. My husband is in the military and we rarely get to see his son. It is like once a year. Over the fall we received papers from the court system saying his son was changing his last name. This came without warning, but in order to stop it my husband would have had to contest the name change. He called and talked to his son, and the reason behind it was he felt different. His stepfather, mom, and new brother all had the same last name. He just wanted to fit in with the family he lived with. My husband reluctantly agreed to the name change, but still sees his son every year. He also bought an x-box so they can play together. My husband never payed child support because his ex did not want it. But she never held that against him and when we visit we all get together like one big family.

Amanda - posted on 03/24/2010

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check with a lawyer, but you might get lucky and it might just be required that you publish in a major paper an announcement for a few weeks that you intend to change his name for the public to see so that his bio-dad has the opportunity to contest -- if he manages to actually see the ad

Jessica - posted on 03/24/2010

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well if youhave the $ to pay all that. but then he doesnt have to pay 4 childsuport

Kassy - posted on 03/24/2010

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When I looked into it a couple months ago, it said if you didn't have the father's consent then you would have to take it to court and give some damn good reasons why his name should be changed. But you should still look into and seek legal advice as Mashell said.

Mashell - posted on 03/24/2010

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im not sure, but you should be able to have a free consultation with a lawyer and ask them what you should do. I would say you are probably going to have to have the father's consent, but I could be wrong, and as stevie says, it probably depends on the state. good luck

Stevie - posted on 03/24/2010

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i think it might vary to every state and im not 100% sure but i think you can all you should have to do is go to social securaty and change it just like you would do when you get married and file for a new ss card with the correct name on it and then i think idk how this one works but i think if you reorder a birth certificate you can have that with the "new" last name but im deff not sure on that but idk about it when under 18 for any of it but i think so

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