Skip to main content

Can I Change My Son's Last Name?

Reno, NV |

When my son was 1-1/2, his biological father John was very abusive toward me and ended up getting arrested. He moved out and left the state to California. My son is now 4 and I have remarried. He does not know John is his biological father yet and he believes he has the same last name as myself, my husband and our daughter.

My ex-husband refuses to allow me to change my son's last name. He doesn't pay court-ordered child support and he has only spoken to my son maybe 5 times. He expresses interest in being a part of his life but he doesn't make much effort.

Can I legally have my son's name changed without his permission? Would he be required to show up to court? Is it likely that a judge would rule in favor of the change considering the facts? Would I need an attorney to handle this?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4

Posted

you need to give the father notice of the petition to change name and yes he can object. If he does there will be a hearing to determine if the name change is in the "best interest of the child." You should use a lawyer since it will be contested. I cannot tell you if you will succeed because that is up to the judge. Your attorney will discuss the liklihood of success with you.

IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER "Helpful" or " The Best Answer" YOU CAN THANK ATTORNEY RADDATZ BY MARKING IT SO because Avvo awards the attorney points. MS. RADDATZ is donating her time and talent by answering questions to help those in need of legal information. This is NOT a consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PERSONALLY CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR LOCAL AREA who has specific expertise in the area of law you are asking about.

Posted

You need a lawyer. A name change likely does nothing to solve your problems and may only bring more. You would have to notify the father of the name change and with his objection you would probably lose. He also might then petition for visitation and/or custody rights, and that would really mess things up. You may be in a position to have his parental rights terminated, which would free the child for adoption by his step father. Discuss all your options with an attorney to decide how best to proceed.

Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.

Posted

Your better option might be to initiate a termination of John's parental rights. If your new husband is willing to adopt your son, that will be seen as a favorable factor. You would certainly need to serve this kind of action on John, and he would have an opportunity to answer. An attorney would be essential to winning this kind of action.

Posted

You can go to the self help center at Family Court to get a packet for minor name change. You will need to send notice to the birth father and publish in the newspaper. He has the right to object. If he does not, the name can be changed.