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What form/affidavit should be signed if a stepfather wants his stepchild to use his last name?

Peekskill, NY |

I am petitioning a name change for my minor so he can use my husband's (stepfather) last name before we register him to kindergarten. I called the county clerk's office and they gave me the procedures. They had mentioned that I need to have my husband sign and affidavit saying that he is aware of the name change and he is acknowledging it and that he is taking full responsibility. What is the appropriate form that should be used? Thanks in advance.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You need to commence a name change proceeding. The link to the instructions/forms is as follows: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/forms/namechange.shtml. You should note that the biological father will need to be served with a court summons. Nevertheless, I advise you to consult further with a Westchester Co. Family law attorney.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

Hi David, All forms have already been filled out including the name change petition, order and the request for judicial intervention. The county clerk's office added that it's better to have my husband sign an affidavit saying that he is aware of the situation and that he is authorizing my son to assume his last name. I can't find a form to use online.

David Ivan Bliven

David Ivan Bliven

Posted

I'd advise to ask the Clerk's Office - if you're doing it in Westchester, goto the Office of the Self-Represented.

Asker

Posted

Will do. Thanks David.

Frank Stephen Ieraci

Frank Stephen Ieraci

Posted

The only thing I can think of that might be what the clerk is talking about is an affidavit regarding the inability to locate the father and asking to dispense with notice per Civil Rights law Section 62. I would also add some language from Domestic Relations Law Section 111 about the failure of the father to maintain contact or to support the child.

Asker

Posted

Frank, none of these affidavits were asked. I was asked to bring an affidavit from my husband (stepfather) to sign acknowledging the assumption of his last name. However, the absence of the biological father was further explained in the name change petition. I was told that there is no standard format for the aforementioned affidavit and that I can draft my own wordings. My question is basically just about the correct wordings.

Posted

is it an adoption or just a name change?

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Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Excellent question. If the asker is receiving support from the biological father, and expects this to continue, there might be some resistance to a name change without an adoption, which might still require the biological father's consent. Depends on what your current custody order says as well, if he has some kind of "joint legal custody" as is commonplace today even if asker has physical custody.

Asker

Posted

A name change. I am not receiving anything from the biological father as his whereabouts are unknown and not even listed in the birth certificate. He is in a different country and never tried to communicated with me or my son.

Jayson Lutzky

Jayson Lutzky

Posted

You will need the biological father's written consent.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Asker: you will probably have to do an adoption through Family Court and a related custody petition and possibly termination of the biological father's parental rights if he can't be found to consent. This is not a simple "name change" form to fill out: it is an "adoption". You should consult with an attorney who practices family law in Westchester County. You can use the "find a lawyer" tab on this site to find attorneys who practice there, or google, or the lawyer referral service of the county or New York State Bar Association.

Asker

Posted

Jayson, As I have mentioned, the father is nowhere to be found and not listed in the birth certificate. I am not receivimg from the biological father either and he lives in the Philippines. I already asked the county clerk's office and they said it's okay not to have it due to my situation. They told me to just explain thoroughly in the petition the situation. On the other hand, I was asked to bring a signed affidavit from the stepfather regarding the assumption of his last name.

Jayson Lutzky

Jayson Lutzky

Posted

Do what the clerk wants, but be very specific and factually accurate about the biological father's details. good luck.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Never argue with the Clerk, I guess

Posted

In addition to the other information given you usually will need the consent of the father.

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Asker

Posted

The father is not listed and cannot be located.

Susan Kathleen Duke

Susan Kathleen Duke

Posted

The father is not listed on the birth certificate? If he is or has ever been legally found to be the father service in some form will need to be made upon him.

Asker

Posted

Susan, As I have mentioned in my previous posts, he is in a different country and nowhere to be found. He was never listed because it is the law. Since he is not here and cannot sign any document about him being the biological father, he did not make it to the birth certificate. Also, I have mentioned in one of my posts that the county clerk's office told me that it is okay not to have a form signed by him and that I need to just explain it in the petition. My question really is not about the father's consent but more of the affidavit that the stepfather needs to sign to assume his last name. Thanks.