You were never married, but is there a custody order in place? If you've NEVER been to court (even for support), then you have sole legal and physical custody, so you can petition for a legal name change on your own. BUT, if he was ever granted any rights to the children, then you'll need his permission or convince a judge at a hearing (to which he must be notified) to do so because of some good reason - simply wanting it won't be enough.
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In order to change the boys' names in Minnesota you will need to fill out an application for name change of minor, proposed order granting name change of the miners, and a criminal history check release if your boys are over 10 years old. The forms are available online, and I have attached the link below. If either of the boys are over 14 years old, they will have to sign the application as well. There will be a filing fee, so call your county court administrator to determine how much you will need to pay when you submit your application.
If the father was listed on the birth certificate, or if there has been any legal recognition of him having paternity of the boys, you are going to have to give him notice that you are applying for a name change. Different counties have different notice requirements, so when you call your county court administrator to determine what the filing fee is, you should also ask them how they want you to notify the other parenting of the "pending name change application."
The name change MUST BE DONE IN GOOD FAITH and not for the purpose of defrauding or misleading anyone.
You will also have to have a legal description of any property that the boys have an interest in. Do they have an inheritance pending? If so, you'll need to get a copy of the title from the County Recorder or Register of the county where the property lies.
Best of luck.
Dana C. Rindahl is an attorney/partner at Perez & Rindahl Law, LLC. We are located at 842 Raymond Avenue, Suite 200, Saint Paul, MN 55114. Any information we have provided on this site does not establish an attorney/client relationship. We encourage you to contact us for a formal consultation that will allow for us to both obtain more information from you and to look at all of the evidence surrounding the case. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 763-463-0367.
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