i want to change my daughters last name to mine. her father was deported in 2009 or 2010. I have full custody of her.
The biological father and mother must consent to the change of name for their child. However, you may have grounds for termination of the father's parental rights. Once those rights are terminated, you could proceed to change the name without his consent.
Whether or not you need a lawyer is a matter of whether or not you can figure out how to file the appropriate paperwork without one. That I know of, there are not preprinted forms for a name change in the clerk of court's office. I think the bigger question is whether or not you need the father's consent. The law on name changes in found in Chapter 101 of the North Carolina Statutes. The law does say that you can change the name of a minor child without the consent of the other parent if the clerk is satisfied that the non-custodial parent has abandoned the minor child. Do you know where the father is located? If not, getting him properly served will come with a whole new set of hurdles to overcome, especially as he is in another country.
The information contained in this answer is not intended to be legal advice as the drafter of the answer does not know particular details about your case. For more information please visit our website www.bakerbillick.com
A name change used to be a fairly time consuming, but achievable procedure for most people to do on their own. In Mecklenburg and many other larger counties the clerks office does have forms. I do know each clerks office is slightly different in what they require so you will want to make sure you are following local practices. Charlotte for instance requires the child's consent if she is over a certain age. Unfortunately, now there are new requirements regarding name changes including background checks. This is typically something that is difficult for people to do on their own. Also, with the Father being deported you will have a difficult time getting his consent. Once your child is 18 it will be much easier to change her name.
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.
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