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Do I need to have my lawyer attend a hearing for a name change of my child?

Davison, MI |

I have been to court 4 times now and this last time my childs father appeared. This was to change the last name of my child. (Father has a child support order, which is severely inconsistent, and has also made no effort to visit with him in almost 7 years.) The father and I have agreed for me to drop some past support and he will agree to the name change. Can we just agree on the name change in court then after, go to FOC and take care of the support issue? My lawyer had mentioned this to me, but said our "agreement" cannot be told to the judge. Is it legal for us to do this? And do I have to have my lawyer there if we have come to an agreement?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

It is always best to be represented by legal counsel when appearing in court, but the decision is yours. The court can't force you to have a lawyer present. I think you may have misunderstood what your lawyer was telling you. The judge typically hears some types of family law cases, and the Friend of the Court referee others. I would speak to your attorney again, and get clarification. I am quite sure your attorney did not counsel you to engage in an illegal act.
Laurel Stuart-Fink
(248) 626-5450

This comment is designed for general information only, and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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Posted

If you were a recipient of public assistance benefits, you cannot waive any support that may be owed to DHS or the State of Michigan. As you know, the father must consent. I believe what your lawyer might be telling you has to do with the court believing you are agreeing to waive support which your child is entitled to receive. Your lawyer may know something about the court or about your situation which might influence the court to decline the request if the "agreement" is disclosed. More information is needed to properly evaluate your question. As Ms. Stuart-Fink stated, it is always preferable to have an attorney's representation.

Neil M. Colman
www.divlawyer@gmail.com
586.254.1100

Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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