My son has his father's last name. We were never married and are no longer together as he was abusive and a drug addict. He has never paid for anything and does not pay child support. He has not had any contact with myself or our son in 10 months.
In Michigan individuals may change the name of a child that is less than 14 years old. In order to legally make this happen both of the legal parents must agree to the proposed name change. However, it sounds as though in this case that both parents may not agree to the change.
If this is the case then you as the custodial parent must prove that the other parent did not provided support for the child, or has not complied with a court order for support, for at least two years before you made the name change petition AND that the other parent has substantially failed to contact or visit the child for two years before the filing of the petition.
But keep in mind that this change in name does not terminate the rights of the other parent, it is only a name change.
See the link for more information.
Erika McNamara 734-476-0739, [email protected] The above answer is only for reference and general information only. An Attorney-Client relationship is not created through this information. ALWAYS seek the counsel of a licensed attorney. NEVER use the Internet as your attorney or information found on the Internet for legal advice.
I agree with Attorney McNamara's very good answer. Keep in mind that you should really think this out before you do it. Consider all of the consequences and don't just do it because of your feelings toward the child's father are not high. If the child is old enough to engage in a conversation about it, you should do so and try not to steer the conversation that way you'll get a more honest response and not the one the child thinks you want to hear. Changing your child's name may cause your child to question his or her identity, especially if the father has already been absent. Good Luck!
The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.
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