My sons mother wants to add her boyfriend last name to my sons last name if they get married can she do that knowing I pay child support
Criminal Defense Attorney
She can try, but let her know you object
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You are talking about a few different legal things: the child support, the name change and the termination of parental rights.
The mother (if she is the legal custodian) can apply for a name change without having your approval PROVIDED she is not attempting to remove your name, but only to add a name to the existing name of record. This is done by name change application in the civil court. If she is seeking to remove your name or change the Birth certificate she will have a very hard time without your consent.
The way you would consent is by relinquishing your rights to your child or if a court ordered it.
Your obligation to pay child support is not affected by the name change, unless it includes you relinquishing your parental rights. You must continue to pay child support until a court order says you can stop or pay a different amount.
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Child Abuse Lawyer
It depends. Do you mean add her boyfriend's name to the name the child uses? Do you mean add her boyfriend's name to your son's official name on his birth certificate by a name change? Do you mean add her boyfriend's name as parent 2 on your son's birth certificate?
It also depends on whether you are paying child support voluntarily or via court order and whether you are listed as parent 2 on your son's birth certificate.
A custodial parent, especially a single mother in the case of the father not being on the birth certificate, can use whatever name she wants for her child as long as it is not for a fraudulent purpose. If you are on the birth certificate, she can't get the name officially changed without your consent without filing a name change petition in the Probate and Family Court and giving you notice.
Unfortunately, it is not as difficult as you might want it to be for the mother to change a child's name by petition, even if the legally acknowledged father objects, if the mother has valid reasons and the court believes it is in the child's best interests. Living in a home with mom and her new husband, especially if mom takes her husband's name and they have a baby together who also has his last name, is often seen as beneficial to the child and not as confusing as keeping a name that his mother no longer uses and that isn't even his father's name.
If you're not on your son's birth certificate and there is no court order for child support, you may not even be entitled to notice of her name change proceeding if that is the way she goes.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Anyone can use any name they like in informal documents. For formal documents (schools, for instance) his legal name will remain as it is until she obtains a formal name change. If she does seek a formal name change, she has to give you notice, there will be a court hearing, and you have a right to object. Be absolutely sure that you have given her your current address and that you have done so in writing so that she can not claim that she did not know how to serve you.
Child support is irrelevant to the issue, by the way.
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Family Law Attorney
Paying child support has no determining value in these cases. They are completely separate issues. You can be stopped from seeing your child but still be required to pay child support and the other way around. What you need to do if you truly and reasonably object to this first let her know and then oppose it in court. Although a person can change their name (and a parent change their child's) for any reason (with very few exceptions), notice must be given to interested parties and the opportunity to object is a right.
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