Can I change my son't last name w/o his fathers consent?

Jody - posted on 01/23/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Hey all! My little boy's father and I were together, but not married when my son was born and I made a HUGE mistake and gave him his fathers last name instead of mine. I did this, assuming that he would be in his life and be a dad to his son. Well, he left us both when my son was 5 months old and for a couple years would only show up on Christmas and call on his birthday. My son has no clue who he is at all, so when he does show up, my son wants nothing to do with him. Well anyways, it's been a whole 2 years since he's called or even attempted to see him and he doesn't pay child support (never has). His name is on my son's birth certificate, so would I have to get his consent before changing my son's last name to mine? P.S. My son will be 5 years old in May.

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Jakki - posted on 01/25/2012

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I changed my daughters last name about 2 years ago. Me and her father were never married and his name was not on her birth certificate, but paternity was established. I know in New York State, he had to sign a document from the courts saying he agreed and get it notarized. It may be differnet depending on what state you are in. I would check with your County Court Clerk.

Sarah - posted on 01/24/2012

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Definitely a question for a lawyer. In California, after 2 years of no contact, you are able to sue to sever parental rights. However, it is also important in California to have already sued for child support. Because, severing the parental rights does not end the responsibility for the child support in CA... So, yeah, find a decent lawyer and see what you can do where you are, because every place is different. Because your son doesn't know him, this is especially important. If anything were to happen to you, he would automatically be given custody of your son. If you have his rights severed, your son can go to whomever you specify in your will. :D

Reshitta - posted on 01/24/2012

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You can sue him for the name change. There are plenty on self help centers through the courts and also online in your state. I had to help my sister do this. Its fairly easy you fill out the paper work and waiver ( if u choose not to pay) and have him serverd he has 20 days to answer the summons if he does not then you file a defalut and decree and the judge approves it. And if he does answer (highly doubt it) then you set up a mesiation or go infront of a judge and let them know why but from what you describe if he is inconsistant that way it will be granted. You can also have him removed from the birth cerficate but I wouldnt do that if you have him on child support legally I say that because once he gets a good job or files his taxes they will start to cone to you only if u filed CS through the DA or public assistance and you dont recive cash aid.

Tami - posted on 01/24/2012

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I went through the exact thing. But the diff is I left him. Anyway my son was 18mo when we left he saw him on his 2nd bday and that's it. We went through a legal name change. Just stated we have no idea where father was and my husband has been raising him with me since we met and still.. my son is7 now. He has no idea who his father is..he believes my husband id dad... ull have to post the name cange in local paper for 3 weeks and if no one detetsts it then ur good.

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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I believe you would have to get consent, yes. This is a really good question for your lawyer.

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Kylia - posted on 01/25/2012

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Im going through something sim to this, I havnt seen my daugters father since I was 5 months pregnant, he has married and is living in dublin but thats all I know about where he is, ive been with my husband since my daughter was 6 months old and as far as she knows my husband is her daddy, she has never seen my ex nor has he ever tired. My husband is now trying to adopt my daughter, we have just filled papers to social services so they can asses if it can go ahead then papers may have to be served on my ex, the judge will decided this, its a bloody joke, he has never made any effort to see her, his name aint on the birth cert, she has my last name, doesnt pay anything for her nor have I tried to get him too yet he may get to contest the adpotion joke!!

Jodi - posted on 01/25/2012

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Jody,

I always wondered why a Mom would give her child her own last name and not the fathers last name if they werent married. You have now opened my eyes. I can understand your concern. I know you only asked if you could change his name without the fathers concent, but I was hoping you would not mind me sharing my thoughts on the topic and maybe opening your eyes to something you might not already see. I know your son is almost 5 and right now does not have a clue who his father is nor does his father make an effort to be in his life. However, there will come a day when your son wants to know about his father maybe want to meet him. Right now the only connection he has to his birth father is his last name. This may not seem like a gift right now, but it could mean alot to your son later in life. The fact that his father was there and wanted him to have his last name when he was born. Sure his birth father is not the father you wanted for your child, but your son will see that all for himself and form his own opinion. Its part of growing up. Who knows maybe he won't want his fathers last name when he's older he may choose to change it himself. Let it be his choice and for now allow him to keep the only thing he has of his birth father. :) XOXO

Jody - posted on 01/25/2012

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To Zella Hernandez.....

I am not married, so therefore, I have the same last name from the day I was born. So if anything changes, my son would take my last name! Not some other mans! And I don't agree with you on anything. My son's father, no, my son's SPERM DONOR doesn't want a damn thing to do with my son. If he did, he wouldn't have left him when he was 5 months old!!!! My son will be 5 YEARS old in May. That's almost 5 years w/o anything! I don't think it's right for my poor baby to keep a name of some man he doesn't even know! And if anything, there is no drama on the MY end....RUDE!

A - posted on 01/25/2012

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I am in Canada, and if you can prove abandonment, you do not need the fathers consent. You can get a lawyer or go to government services and they will direct you in the process.

Good Luck!

Emma - posted on 01/25/2012

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yea u need his consent to change his name, to take him out the EU ie if u wanted to take ur child to america u would need the fathers consent im goin tho the same thing with my daughters dad but the hole thing is he dnt give a f**k he just wants to make it more difficult for me

[deleted account]

I believe no matter if his dad is in the picture or not... It's still his dad! And in this day and age, who says getting married to a different guy is gonna work! What will you do then, change it?



I know a family that the mom gave her 1st child her maiden name, cause they weren't married... Then married the guy and had 4 more kids! How do you think that 1st kid felt?



My husband and I weren't married when we had our 1st two kids, but they got his name because he was their dad, and I felt that was right... I wanted them to know WHO they were! We married and had two more kids.



You never know if a marriage or relationship is gonna last. But your parents are who they are... GOOD, BAD, AROUND or OUT of the picture! You never know, when the dad grows up he may come back around and have a relationship with his child... After the drama with the mom settles down!

Shedonna - posted on 01/24/2012

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I believe that the law states that if he has been absent from his for five years you may change it if your current spouse will adopt him. On another note, you should get child support if his father doesnt intend to be there physically...financially is the next best thing. My situation is similiar the only difference is his name is not on the birth certificate but is on the DNA results so that is good enough for me.

Lora - posted on 01/24/2012

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You have to fill out the proper name change forms, they will make you get the fathers permission. I you don't know where he is, you need to sign a legal affidavide stating that. It's hard, but much easier if you don't know where he's at.

Good luck, hope it works for you, It took me about 4 months but I got it done.

Sally - posted on 01/24/2012

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Hi iv just changed my sons last name to mine, I didn't need to get his really dads consent as he was born in 2001.you will need to get your sons really dads consent as he's on the birth certificate xx

Mommy2G1B - posted on 01/24/2012

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yes you need concent, but you go to the court fill out a piece of paper and post it in your town paper he has 1 month to respond if he doesnt you can change it without his concent. This is only in the case that you do not know his last address if you do you have to send the name change court paperwork to that address and he needs to apporve or denie that namne change. I had to do this with my daughters bio father i want to change her name to mine and my husbands she has my Maiden name. I have not changed her name yet but I do not know his address and he will not give it to me so because he does not want me sending him paperwork. Hope that helps good luck.

Sandi - posted on 01/24/2012

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I am in Colorado as well, and my suggestion would be to go for Child abandonment and get him completely removed. Or you can go to Child Support Enforcement, and start getting all the $ he has owed you. Then get him to sign over his parental rights all together to get out of the child support payments. Once his parental rights are gone, you can have him removed from the Birth Certificate and change his name

Kumiko - posted on 01/24/2012

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I had a similar situation and you do have to have consent. In my situation his name is not on the birth certificate but my child has his last name and I would still have to have consent because I know who the father is. Your only other option may be to see if you can claim abandonment and have his parental rights taken away -- then you can change his name all you want to. Good Luck.

Jennifer - posted on 01/24/2012

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Ask an attorney. Someone said you could sever parental rights after two years, but that is only true in certain states. Here, in OK, only DHS(child protective servises) can sever parental rights, unless an adoption takes place. They even gave parental rights BACK to my aunt, after she had had them revoked by another state. My husband has even been told that if something happens to me so that I can't 'be a good mom' his ex could come back and contest the adoption of my step-children! Most attorneys will give you a free consultation, so it would be worth checking on.

Ariane - posted on 01/24/2012

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Check with your state, in Ma you need to file papers and put it in the newspaper, and then wait if they don't contest it then you are good to change it.

Jody - posted on 01/24/2012

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Thank You all so much for all the advice! I'm going to get in contact with a lawyer here in Colorado and see what they say. I really don't want my son starting school with a last name that means nothing at all to him!

[deleted account]

In some places w/ zero contact for 2 years you can severe his parental rights... In which case you would not need his permission to change your son's name. Depends on the laws in your specific area and this is a question that can only really be answered by a lawyer familiar w/ your particular situation and the laws in your area.

Maree - posted on 01/23/2012

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A lot of women do this thinking the man will be around forever. I gave my son my maiden name because i was not married to his dad. He is 11 now and sees his dad often but i am glad i gave him my name. I am in Australia,not sure where you are but over here you need consent unless the father cannot be found,then the court may allow the name change if it is in the childs best interest.



When i got married and changed my name,i wanted to change my sons name to my married name so that we would all be the same and when we had a child together,all the kids...mine,his and ours...would all have the same name.

I still had to get his dads consent,even though my son had my maiden name. Because his name is listed as the father,i was unable to make any change without him agreeing.



He asked me if i was willing to give our son (9 at the time)his name, both his name and my maiden name,or his name and my married name.

I didn't want to hyphenate and my son didn't want to either. he said if he couldn't have my married name that he would rather just not change it at all.There was really no reason for his dad to not agree as the last name was nothing to do with him becuase of it being my maiden name and also when i changed my name,he would be the only one who was different in both families...so he agreed.



So i think,if you go to the court and fill out a request for change of name,when the case is heard and the father is not there,they will most likely allow you to change it. If they are able to contact the dad,he can contest it and will probably win and maybe even want to start having contact with the child. If you want to avoid this then maybe it's better to do nothing.



When i was looking into my options i was told that in some states you are allowed to let the child "go by" a different name at school or daycare and only use their real name on legal documents. After using a new name for more than 2 years it is easier to formally change it because the child now knows this as their name....some schools,however,do not like this and won't allow it and it's against the law in some places.

S. - posted on 01/23/2012

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I'm from the Uk and i went off advice from my solicitor, I also agree the law will change depending on were you live

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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I believe he also has to consent to the change. However, I do believe this could be different from state to state so I would check your local laws on this one.

S. - posted on 01/23/2012

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I changed my daughters name without consen as I agreed to him having parental responsibility if he turned up he could demand that I change it bk and I could be stuck paying for it but cos he hasn't been around for so long I would have a good argument against him and the court would prob be on my side, it's a risk I was willing to take

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