We have not had contact from her father for five years. She has asked me if she could change her last name to my last name which might I add is my maiden name I'm not married. Since she has no contact with him or his family and only knows mine she would like to share the same name. He also has never supported her financially I tried and domestic relations closed the case because they couldn't find him. Is it possible and if so how do I go about changing it?
Estate Planning Attorney
Generally this type of change can be accomplished by filing a petition for name change and having one hearing in the court of common pleas. There are some other requirements, particularly when the person is a minor. An attorney can walk you through this.
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Family Law Attorney
The simple answer is yes, you can petition to change your daughter's last name. However, you need to be certain to address all of the procedural requirements in doing so. You will need to file a name change petition in the county in which you reside. Depending on the county, there may be specific requirements such as fingerprinting or criminal background check ( even for a minor).
The matter will be schedule for a hearing. Once you have received a hearing date, you will need to publish the notice of the name change hearing so that anyone who opposes can appear. The information you have provided is important as to why you want to have her name changed.
It is a good idea to contact a local family law attorney who can assist you and ensure that this is a smooth process for you and your daughter.
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with the other answers and would also like to add that normally you need both parents to agree to change a minors name. Therefore, proof of the lack of contact and support by her father will be required as to why he should not have to give permission. You will also be required to notify him of the court date or, if you do not know where he is and cannot find him, you will have to advertise in the local newspaper and legal journal of his last known address. Contact an experienced attorney in your area to help you. Good luck!