Sons name change

Georgia - posted on 06/03/2010 ( 98 moms have responded )

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My baby boy was given my last name, because I was not married, nor did I plan to marry the man who is his father. Zander is now almost 3 years old, and his father is taking me to court to change his last name. Claims he "cannot have anymore children" and Zander needs to be his legacy. I have had full custody and have been raising this child myself since day one. Can the court really change his last name without my consent? Zanders father has no medical condition that inhibits him to have more children, AND he also has a brother who can have children!
I just don't see how this is right.

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Aubrey - posted on 06/04/2010

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I found this, thought it might help.

Changing a child’s name

A child’s name can be changed at any time, provided it is not to deceive or defraud another person. There is no legal procedure which must be followed in order to change a child’s name, providing all the people who need to give their consent have done so. The parent simply starts using the new name. A child’s forename or surname can be changed, names can be added or rearranged.

Although there is no legal way to change a child’s name, you may need evidence that a child’s name has been changed (see under heading Evidence of change of name). However, the details on a child’s birth certificate cannot be changed, except in limited circumstances.

Changing details on a child’s birth certificate can be complicated. If you wish to do so you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on (New window) nearest CAB.

If you are a child or young person under 16 your consent does not have to be given for your name to be changed. However, if you object to your name being changed you can apply for a court order to prevent the change, provided the court is satisfied that you have sufficient understanding of what is involved.

As a child or young person under 16 you cannot change your surname without your parent’s consent.

Once a child’s name has been changed it can be used for all purposes, such as starting school and registering with a GP. However, evidence may be required (see under heading Evidence of change of name).

Who can change a child’s name

Where only one parent or person has parental responsibility for a child, that person can lawfully change the child’s name. Where two or more people have parental responsibility for the child, one of them can lawfully change the child’s name if all the others agree. Such agreements do not need to be in writing.

If there is a residence order in force, a child’s name cannot be changed without the written agreement of anyone else who has parental responsibility or the permission of the court.

For more information on residence orders, see Ending a marriage, Ending a relationship when you're living together or Ending a civil partnership.

This means that where the parents are or have been married, neither can change the child’s name without the consent of the other parent. If the parents have not been married, the mother can change the child’s name without the father’s consent unless he has acquired parental responsibility through agreement or by a court order.

For more information about parental responsibility, see Children at the end of your relationship in Ending a relationship when you're living together or Children at the end of a civil partnership in Ending a civil partnership.

Megan - posted on 06/06/2010

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wow, I went through this same problem in the state of Ohio, and each state does differ with it's laws. My daughter had my last name and her father wanted to change it. He didn't sign the birth certificate until a DNA test was done. He wanted to change her last name, and we went to court over it. He lost. Just because he IS the father, does NOT mean your son has to have his fathers last name. Bottom line.

Christina - posted on 06/04/2010

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When I had my daughter her father and I were not married and had no plans to. I gave my daughter my last name. He has not been there for any part in her life and she is now 10 years old. I have since been married to the man who has raised her. I would like to change her last name to my husband's last name and I am not allowed to do that because I need permission from her biological father. If he contests than I will not be able to. If ONE parent does Not Agree to the name change It can NOT be done! I was told this by multiple Law offices. Good Luck!

Tricia - posted on 06/08/2010

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I don't know about your state but in the state of Ohio the name can't be changed without both parents consent. My son's dad wanted to change my son's last name for the same reason, he wanted him to carry on his last name. He coudn't get it changed without my consent and I refused!

Tiffany - posted on 06/08/2010

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I have a similar problem. My daughter has her fathers last name. He hasn't seen her since she was 2 and she is now 71/2! I married and want to change her name to match mine and her step-dad's. I found out that there are two ways to change a child's name.
1. Is to go to the notary and have both parents sign the birth cert and get it sent to the state.
2. Go to court. However, according to our laywer judges need good reason to change a name (not just a child's) therefore the excuess "because I want to" doesn't cut it. I highly doubt that any judge will just, out of the blue, change your son's name because your ex-boyfriend is throwing a stink fit.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, when your child's father petitions the court, you are entiltled to free legal aide (In the state of Pennsylvania, check your state to be sure).
Also make sure that he provides medical documents that show he cannot have any more children and not just trying to spite you. His brother having children has nothing to do with his reproductive ability.
Good luck!

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Jessica - posted on 06/08/2010

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Well I am that case where my mom was full custody of us and my biological father only had us everyother weekend when my brother and i were younger. He paid no child support or was in anyother involvement in our lives. He tried to change our last names and they terminated him... he wasn't capable of taking care of us because he was an alcholic. And didn't do anything to take care of us. I think that you will be okay... I think they are going to have to do tests to see if he can actually have kids. I hope for you and your childs sake that it doesn't go through. Best of luck to you both.

Ashley - posted on 06/08/2010

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this happened t my boyfriend his ex has his daughters name changed and he did not agree judge gave her a new last name of her step father..while my boyfriend pays supoort

Ashley - posted on 06/08/2010

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in reverse that happened to my boyfriend. his 1st daughter had his last name they broke up he is not allowed to see her because she does not approve of me or my daughter. she filed in court and had her name changed to her new husbands name and he still has to pay support...

Gurjit - posted on 06/08/2010

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I guess they can't do that without ur consent.Have a great Motherhood & Future ahead.

Bethany - posted on 06/08/2010

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Legally, No. If you were not married to the father and did not decide to give your son his father's name, then in all legality the father would have no rights to the child nor have any right to change the name. Even with DNA testing or proving that he is the father does not mean that the name MUST be changed. This also carries on to even if you were to marry him (not saying you are just as example) you still do not have to change your son's name from your maiden name. However, I do caution you to know your rights if you go to court and have a good lawyer because as stated previously, the court systems are messed up and especially with a sob story, they may "highly recommend" that the child"s name be changed. I do not see any legal reason though that it has to be.

[deleted account]

I am also trying to change my son Xander's last name to have mine ( he currently has his Fathers), but in my state both Mother and Father have to sign off on the last name change. ( I was never married to his father either) I would look into online on what the state says goes.

Lesley Anne - posted on 06/08/2010

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Your son's name can only be changed if his father's name is on his Birth Certificate! I had the same situation with my 5yr old son's dad. He left me when i was 5 months gone and changed all contact details so i couldn't get in touch with him when Regan was born! So in turn, i left his name off Regan's Birth Certificate, which gives him NO rights to my son without my consent.

My advice would be get yourself a good lawyer and fight your ex tooth and nail. Your baby has your name for a reason. Good Luck xx

Georgia - posted on 06/08/2010

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I could go on and on and on about this whole story, but i didn't feel like writing a 10 chapter book. I gave the important details.
This has nothing to do with what kind of father he is, it has to do with him wanting to change his last name, and i don't want it done. I was looking for opinions or experiances with this situation and how it was handeled by the courts. I live in ohio, also to answer that major question.. it didn't come to me that states would have different laws and so fourth. thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Candyce - posted on 06/08/2010

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Uh, no, I don't think he can. I hope not, because my son has my name too. There is no logical reason why anyone should take a man's name, whether it be his wife or children. Why not keep mama's?
Blessed Be

Nicole - posted on 06/08/2010

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i think you only have to make it hyphenated. atleast thats what my friend has to do, if her ex bf pushes for his last name to be in the baby's name.

Sarah - posted on 06/08/2010

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I don't know where Lizz gets her information or what State she lives in but I live in Michigan and I KNOW that here, you have to have a mutual agreement between the parents to change the name. Otherwise it stays the name that's on the birth certificate. If you are not willing to change the name, they will not do it. I wish you the best of luck and I too would like to be updated on this.

TanyaJane - posted on 06/08/2010

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I would totally fight it....personally....both of my sons have my last name and the only way i would change that is if I got married. What happened to human rights....being ordered to change a name like really...thats freedom?? It is also easier as a ?single? mother to have the same last name as children...border crossings ect. Oh my i wish you the best of luck!!!

Kaci - posted on 06/08/2010

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been there dont that! my twins father has never been in their lives and was going to petition to have their names changed...and he can..but he chose not to. but just know that even tho hes a dead beat he still has the right and the court may just let him do it but when he goes to court for it, it may backfire and theyll mmake him pay child support as well..but yes they can make you change his name if the father asks. it sux!

Michelle - posted on 06/08/2010

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Wow first time I've ever heard of something like this happening. I don't know what the court would do I would assume he would have to provide documentation from phd. Good luck!

Mary - posted on 06/08/2010

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yeah georgia i would have to agree with most of the other mums he has no rights with regards to your sons surname once he signed the birth certificate, it may have been different if he hadnt signed but he did in agreement with your choice of surname, he does have the rights with regards to access and paying maintance, but not his name not even with a dna test, i very sure of this as i had my first son when i was 18 and under the pressure of my parents i gave him my surname with his fathers consent and signature on the birth certificate even though we were still together, although we both wanted to change it just before he was one and eventually we did but it took 3 years to do so and this was because his dad had singed the bc, my circumstances were different though because i am still with his dad and now have 2 more children, my advice to you would be not to let him scare or confuse you into doing this and with regards to your legal rep are there no special aids you can receive

oh and i would also say he would still have to pay maintance even if on disability although maybe not much, but i wouldnt swear on this, please let me know how you get on and it turns out good luck

Leeann - posted on 06/08/2010

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i noticed you said that he said he cant afford to pay you child support yet he can afford a lawyer? i would be very shocked if they actually let this happen! he signed the birth cetrificate saying that was his name so i dont see why they can make you change it! its B.S if they do!

Rosie - posted on 06/08/2010

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If you have full custody, i don't see how they can make you. You aren't doing him any harm by him having your last name.

Schyla - posted on 06/07/2010

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I do not think that he's got much to stand on he signed the birth certificate with it that way and unless this is something you both want it seems unlikely that the judge will change it seeing as how you have custody of him, as for the child support thing if he's been paying it with no problem I don't see why a judge would take that away from you know because he has a disability sorry to be crude obviously his disability isn't enabling him to make a child so he needs to be responsible for that child with his name or without it. Find yourself a pro bono lawyer who will help you keep your support. now there was a comment on here about changing a child's name after the fact that I'd like to address, I was made to give my second child a name before I left the hospital with her and we used the only name we had even though we didn't think it fit, she was 8 weeks old before we found a name for her that did fit and once we got the paperwork checking to make sure all the info on her birth certificate was right we took it to a notary and changed it to that it didn't cost us anything and we where told we had up to a year to do this. just a side note because people should know this stuff.

DaniLee - posted on 06/07/2010

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It depends on the state you live as to how this will turn out. I live in California and you can not dues so unless 1. He agrees to the change or 2. I get his parental rights severed. To do this, he has to have paid no support for 1 year or no visitation for 2 years. You have to petition the court and show solid proof of #2 or have the father in court for #1. BBut, since the father signed the birth certificate, he can not have the last name changed without the mother's consent, no matter his reasonings (can not have anymore children, his legacy, etc.). This is the laws here in California anyway. I know all this because I have been going through it fo many years now in our wonderful (sarcasim here) court systems. Good luck and if you are truly worried, have a free consult with a lawyer.

Melissa - posted on 06/07/2010

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YOU DIDNT SAY THAT THE 1st TIME WHEN YOU POSTED IT SEE IF YOU SAY EVERYTHING THEN NO ONE SAY HES BETTER THAN YOU IF YOU GONNA POST IT POST IT ALL SO WE KNOW THE WHOLE STORY.

Tiffany - posted on 06/07/2010

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Let him bring it, he can't win. Once they test his sperm's motility and see it's fine, they'll tell him to take a hike. Just bring in all the documentation proving you have cared for this child since day one (hospital/dr visit bills, daycare bills, etc) they'll see you're the sole provider for the child. You can have your friends fill out witness accounts of his lack of fatherhood.

He can't win, it's ridiculous. BUT=== in case he does, be prepared to ask for 100% childsupport.

Shalaina - posted on 06/07/2010

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I highly doubt that he will win this case. It doesn't seem that there is a single reason why it should happen. Plus, he agreed to the last name when he signed the BC. Like some said though, just be ready to state your case and prove what you have told us.
It doesn't sound like you are being a bitch, sounds like he is being a dick and I'm glad Melissa Sotelo has seemed to leave the conversation.
BEST OF LUCK and would love to hear the update!

Sarah - posted on 06/07/2010

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Absolutely not. I have a friend that was going through he same thing about 4 months ago and the court would not let her change the child's name without permission from the father. She eventually was able to change her name cause the father didn't show up to court.

Jessica - posted on 06/07/2010

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From What I am aware of from a friend. No they won't. You guys have to agree on it. If you don't consent then judge won't change it. Judge doesn't have the right to change your kids name just because of the father wants it done. Say down the road, you want to change it because you got married and you want it to match yours. You can't change it unless the bio dads consents and signs the paper. That's if he is on the birth cerf.

Tara - posted on 06/07/2010

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What state do you live in Georgia?!? Everyone has to remember that it is different in every single state. Honestly I think that you will be fine, I live in Maine.. And I know that here in Maine BOTH parents have to sign for a child's name change, so they will get ahold of you by mail either the court or he will have to give you a paper n have you sign it n bring it back to the court room, just like a divorce.. My son's father's mother is a lawyer, when i reed this i called her right up and asked her, b/c my son's father n i havnt't been together sents i was 6months preg we got married when i was 4months preg, then he went to jail not even a month later,he has always been in and out of jail and its been just Dakota and myself for the past 5 yrs. And i have been thinking about changing Dakota's name to my maiden name when we go to court for are divorce and everyone keeps telling me it has to be in the child's best intrested, so remember that.... my biggest reason is that his father isnt any good for him and he cant stay out of trouble, i wont let him take dakota alone, i will let his mother and his girlfriend while he is in jail and ONLY the girlfriend due to the fact that the grandmother cant really handle him all weekend, and he has been with his girlfriend for almost 3yrs and Dakota has known her for probably about 2yrs. But for real please let me know what happens bc i really want to know.. Dont panic bc of what ppl are saying bc no one knows what it is like in your state. Good LUCK

[deleted account]

I would just be straight and honest with the court and tell them exactly what you put on here. If you both signed when you named him, then it would be logical to say that you would both need to sign again to change it.

I wish you luck. ♥

Charlotte - posted on 06/07/2010

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if he signed birth certificate and agreed to that name im sure he wouldnt get anywhere in court!

Jacky - posted on 06/07/2010

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in canada both parents that signed the birth certificate need to sign the change of name form I gave my daughter my name when she was born and I married her dad and we both have to sign to get her name changed to match ours.. it also needs to be witnessed by a notary of the public to. that way it can't be forged.

Louise - posted on 06/07/2010

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I know over here in Ireland that its totally messed up. I had my first son before i married my now husband who is his father. We decided to give him his fathers surname as if he had mine and we married his father would have to apply to legally adopt him to change his name and it wouldn't be a formality as he could be turned down!!!

So i don't know how his father could force you to change his name if you are his guardian and your name is on his birth cert!

Melissa - posted on 06/07/2010

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it may depend on your state...do your research and walk into court overly prepared. get a lawyer if you can afford one (or see if you can get free legal aid).
walk in assuming you will have to state your case with evident reasons to back up why you want your son to keep is name as is.
good luck. hang in there....worst case if they do change it your son can always petition to change it back when he is 18...it'll be tough but possible

Mari - posted on 06/07/2010

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well in the vent that he would pay child suppoort yes.....they may do a dna test first to prove him being the father even if he is on the birth certifecate they might still do one unless you alredy have cause they have to have proff....we went throught this with my husbands ex....they ahve to do the dna first then we can change his last name....even if he has not been there the judge wont see it that way........just cause they dont pay or not there all the time dont matter i just went to court for my kids cause the father is a dead beat but judge said if i dont let him see them i will go to jail.....it sucks casue they dont want to go....good luck girl keep your head up...

Renee - posted on 06/07/2010

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i dont think he'll be able to change his name, he would definitely need your consent!

Cherie - posted on 06/07/2010

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My son's father tried to change his last name after he was born also. The court awarded me full custody though and due to that factor, I get to make all of my son's important decisions for him- including choosing his name. He can try to change your baby's name but chances are the judge will laugh at him. Good luck!

Crystal - posted on 06/07/2010

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they'll make him do a dna test and maybe some proof that he can't have any other kids....but if he can have 1 he can have 10 ya know..id make sure it was a family court so nobody else but you 2 are in there, and i dont think they can really make you change his name

Andrea - posted on 06/07/2010

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i honestly dont think the court is gonna care how involved the dad is in his life or if he cant have any more children because it is legally irrelavent.. last i checked you needed both parents to consent bc you have just as much say in the name as he does.. plus courts favor the mother in general.. dont worry about.. he wont get far

Georgia - posted on 06/07/2010

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First of all, if you think i'm a bitch, then stop commenting on my thread.
Yes, he pays child support because it comes right out of his disability check. but if you can read, they're taking that from me too. He is in his life, because his PARENTS paid for his attorney and are making him be part of his life.
SO....Its not HIM in his life, its his parents.
I HAD an attorney, and from what he said when he talked to his attorney was that it was indeed his parents that seemed like they were pushing the issue. WHY hyphinate his last name..so when he gets married, his wife has a hypinated last name already. No, i'm sorry. You just don't come into a childs life and think that things are freakin peachy cause you are ORDERED to pay a lil child suport and back child support.
Get the hell outta here. paying child support, and leaving your son at your parents for visitation doesn't make you a father.
If he was such an "excellent" father, he would answer the damn phone when his son calls to say goodnight, or take him to the zoo, or the park, or for icecream. NOOO doesn't do that. He simply gives him to his mom and dad, so they can watch him during his visitation. THAT IS NOT A FATHER. THAT IS SOMONE WHO JUST WANTS A NAME.
this is why i do not think zander should have his last name. If anything, i'll say we can make it a second middle name. period.

Karen - posted on 06/07/2010

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Hi
my friend went through a similar thing a few years ago, the court said that the father did have the right to request the name change but that it wasnt in the childs best interest so the judged asked the parents to compromise and the childs was given both parents surnames. The childs name was Micheal Joshua Schofield and became Michael Joshua James Schofield. What the father doesnt know is that on enrolment at school etc. she uses his new legal name but the child was called by his original name.

The same goes for my 2 sons they have my surname and not their fathers but now im married with 2 step daughters and 1 daughter with my husband all the girls, my husband and I have the same surname and they dont like to be different so on legal papers they use their legal name but the school, doctors etc. call them by their preferred name which is my husbands surname and I didnt need to sek their fathers permission as its not done legally

Mellanie - posted on 06/06/2010

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I was not married to my children's father when I had my son, so I hyphenated his last name. When his father and I got married I went to see about taking off my last name and just using his, it would have cost almost $400.00. You had mentioned in one of your posts he is collecting disability. I am just curious who's gonna pay for it to be changed if he is trying to get out of paying you child support cause he only collects a minimal amount.. .. .. Also is there a benefit for him to have a child, as far as his disability goes (i.e. will he be able to "claim" him and get a larger amount)? Sorry you're having such a hard time with this. Good Luck

Melissa - posted on 06/06/2010

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HAVE YALL EVEN READ WHAT SHE WROTE THE CHILD'S FATHER IS IN HIS LIFE IS PAYING CHILD SUPPORT HELL IF MY CHILD SPERM DONOR WAS AS GOOD AS THIS GREAT FATHER SOUNDS ID GO & ADD HIS LAST NAME TO THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE & MY CHILD WILL HAVE BOTH MINE & HER DADS LAST NAME.

YOU SHOULD BE GLAD YOUR CHILDS FATHER IS IN HIS LIFE & DOING WHAT HES SUPPOSE TO DO

JUST ADD HIS LAST NAME TO IT.

SOUNDS LIKE TO ME YOU JUST BEING A B***H SORRY BUT IT DOES SOUND LIKE YOUR JUST BEING ONE & WANT TO BE MEAN 2 HIM 4EVER 2 COME

Cassie - posted on 06/06/2010

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i don't thiink you'll have anything to worry with about the name-i don't think courts will do that unless theres been a death and the other parent has to step in

Tania - posted on 06/06/2010

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If you that worried about it ...can you not have both last names ?
I cant see how they could just change his last name ... Did he sign birthcert...?

Rachelle - posted on 06/06/2010

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He cant. Did he sign the birth ceritficate? Either way, you have sole custody and if he hasnt eve participated in his sons life, they will never grant that.

Autumn - posted on 06/06/2010

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im not sure if this helps or not, but anyways in case it does. When my son was born i put both mine and his fathers name as his last name and I married the father of my other two children. I can change my sons last name to my married name without his fathers permission because there is the court order saying i have full custody. If you're court order says you have full custody, then the father can argue with the name but there is little chance that he will win unless of course you guys got back together or something like that.
when you have full custody the father doesn't need to be involved in the desicion making.
If it does get past the request stage which it probably won't since he does not have custody, then you cna explain how your son already knows his name and it would confuse him and since you are the one taking care of him he will wonder why he has a different name then his imediate family that takes care of him and you're afraid it will upset him.

I hope that helps! keep my posted!

Becci - posted on 06/06/2010

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No that is not right in the slightest, if he cannot be bothered to take a part in his child's life he shouldnt have a right in his name either!!

Amanda - posted on 06/06/2010

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there are different laws in each state about this one, I can only draw from my own experiance for you on this one...My daughter has my last name (we live in texas) at the hospital..he father refused to come sign the birth records..so he is not listed as her father on there...at the set up child support meeting..he signed paperwork there admitting his paternity, the lady argued with me that she should have his name in case of death..property and what not can be properly dispensed..i argued that he has nothing we would want..so, with that..she kept my name..if he is insisting on the name being changed, take it to court, and argue the points..and stay specific about it..whether he is actively involved, pays child support, does visitation, or has any inheritance that would be pertinent to your sons survival as an adult. also, ask for proof that he can bear no more kids, and make sure all your information is correct and in writing..get all your ducks in a row, if he can't have anymore kids because of a decision he may have made i.e. vasectomy..this is not grounds for a name change..and if he still argues the point..and the judge is blind and actually agrees..which he probably won't..lol..but in case he does..tell them you will agree if he foots the total bill for it..that will usually scare a man off pretty quick :)..good luck sweetie, i hope this helps you :) also, research the laws in your state..starting with your attorney general website :)

Sarah - posted on 06/06/2010

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I don't think that is fair.... the most fair option for your son would be to wait until he was 18 and then let HIM decide if he wants to change his name or not... and I don't think he would want to.

Rebecca - posted on 06/06/2010

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no ,, to me he sounds like he wants sumthing to do with the child now the hard work is up ,, the court will take your side because ur the one who has been there all his life and he hasnt , so take it with a pinch of salt and it will all go your way and come crashing down on him!!

Carly - posted on 06/06/2010

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No this is rubbish & a complete waste of time. If you have named your child with your name then that's how it will stay. The only way you can change a child's name is through marriage. That's how it is in Britain anyway! What a twat your son's father is, just tell him to do one!

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