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Can California Family Court legally change my child's last name to be hyphenated? Doesn't a civil procedure need to occur?

Sacramento, CA |

Recently in mediation, I brought up at least 4 instances where my child's mother was using ONLY her maiden name as our child's last name. This was very confusing to our child, because she's always had my last name. A family court judge wrote into a minute order that our child's name was to be hyphenated. Is this allowed even though I disagreed? Her last name is ridiculously long, her middle name is the maiden name of her maternal grandmother, and it doesn't match her birth certificate. It's difficult to write her 21 letter last name now at school. She's represented equally in her name, in my opinion. We have joint legal, joint physical 50/50 custody.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Yes, courts are authorized to do so upon filing proper petition and hearing the same by the judge.

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only. It doesn't constitute legal advice. This answer doesn't create attorney client relationship.

  2. Absolutely, the court has the ability to order a name change upon proper notice and hearing. I assume that the court considered your objections at the hearing. Hyphenation is a common solution to this issue.

  3. Yes, so long as it is deemed in the child’s best interests.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  4. Yes, the court is authorized to order hyphenation, and it is a common order for these situations.

    Thomas Neil is a Sacramento attorney, with 20 years experience, representing clients in court in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and surrounding counties. Or, if you cannot afford full representation then Mr. Neil can instead write you the forms and declaration you need, help you serve them, and tell you what to say and you can go to court by yourself. A well written declaration by an attorney, supported by proper evidence, will GREATLY increase your chances of success in court. Our office takes credit cards.

    Thomas A Neil
    3224 El Camino Avenue
    Sacramento, CA 95821
    (916) 446-4153

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