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Could a Judge make me change my baby last name to his father? or put him on the birth certificate?

Canton, GA |

when my baby was born, my ex boyfriend ( never married ) told me not to put his name on the birth certificate or on the baby. Now that the baby is 10 months old, he changed his mind and wants to chang the last name to his! Is there anyway the Judge can make me chnage it or put him on the birth certificate? He keeps threating me, telling me that he already filed for court..

Attorney Answers 4


  1. First, if he had filed anything in court he would be required to serve you with a copy of the pleading. Therefore, you should know about it. But you can always call the Superior Court for your county to find out if there has been a case filed against you.

    Secondly, if it is determined (either by consent or by order) that he is the child's father, it is possible for the judge to require that your child's last name be changed to match the father's. You can only prevent this if you provide a compelling reason why it should not be changed.

    The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.


  2. After the child is 6 months old, the birth certificate can only be changed by a court order. He must file a legitimation petition to do that. You would be able to have the Judge also rule on child support in that case. Therefore, he cannot get the child's name changed without also having a court order requiring him to pay child support under the guidelines. If he is already visiting the child, and paying child support, the chances are pretty good that the Judge will agree to change the child's last name to his. However, it is discretionary, and the Judge will listen to good reasons given to not change the name. He may change it anyway, but he will listen to your reasons.

    I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.


  3. Up til now he has lied to you. If there was a court case you'd know because you would have been served. Unless he does file a case, it cannot happen. Even if he files, it's up to the court. So ignore him right now and worry about it only if you are served. At that time, see a lawyer.


  4. It is obvious that he has not filed to change the child's name because you would have been served with a copy of the petition. Because your child is older than 6 months, the birth certificate must be changed by an order from the court. If he files you will have the opportunity to seek Child Support from him and to tell the Judge why your child's name should not be changed. If the father has not visited or paid any support or participated in the child's life you can bring this type of evidence to the judges attention and request the name not be changed. However, if the father has participated and provided support -- been a good dad -- the chances are that the court would change the child's name. Until the father files the petition you don't have to worry about a name change issue. I would advise you to use this time wisely and gather any evidence available that will support your position. I hope this information has been helpful. Good luck to you and your child!

    The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.

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