his father and I were never married
his father rarely contacts him
My son no longer wishes to carry his fathers last name.
Do we even need his fathers permission?
You have to file a Petition for Name Change. An attorney may charge you according to his or her estimate of how long it will take to prepare that petition and have the Court approve the name change at a hearing. Some attorneys may charge you a flat fee. In addition to the attorney fees, the Clerk of Court will charge you a $401 filing fee to start the petition.