During my pregnancy the father of my child and his mother constantly harassed me.They liked to tell me he did not need to help during the pregnancy because there's no baby and "we're not a couple.At 6 months he cut off all communication and would not answer my phone call. 5 weeks before I was to give birth he hired an attorney and she would call me 3 times a week to get me to sign an agreement to get him in the hospital, as he liked to say he rather be at the birth and not be the father then miss it n find out he's the father.And if I didn't sign she would get "orders.he also wanted baby to have his last name,I ended up hyphenating the last names in fear they would fight & replace my name w/ his. Now I want to get his dropped cause I felt bullied into it & he now won't pay cs until forced,
I assume that you signed a voluntary declaration of paternity and that his is on the birth certificate. In a parentage case the court is able to adjudicate the issue of last name or surname. Otherwise the courts have that power under CCP 1275 and further.
Since he has a lawyer, has he filed a parentage action? If he has, you can bet that he will litigate the issue of the last name if you work on changing it.
The leading case which provides which factors the courts consider when determining the last name is a case called Shiffman.
This is what that court said: 'However, the court reasoned, "[w]ith the adoption of the California Uniform Parentage Act no longer can it be said that a parent has a primary right or protectible interest in having his or her child bear and maintain that parent's surname merely because of the parent's sex and marital status with respect to that child's other parent at the time the child is born. The controlling consideration in determining whether a change in a child's surname should be ordered against the objection of one of the parents, is the welfare of the child [citations]." (P. 937.) Plaintiff therefore had the right to a determination of surname, based on the legal standard of the child's best interest.
I have given you a link below. You can see how the court reviews all traditions over history of naming a child and comes up with the conclusion. The bottom line is this - if the father is going to be around and wanting custody and plays somewhat of a role, the court is going to decide the last name issue in the best interests of the child.
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