In the past, after a
divorce, courts typically ruled that it was a father’s right to have his
child keep his last name, assuming that he continued to fulfill his role
as a parent. Even now, there is still a bit of bias toward this sort of
thinking, but it is no longer an automatic right. Continue reading to
learn more about changing your child’s name after a divorce.
Changing Your Child’s Last Name
Although changing your child’s last name is not as easy as changing
your own name after a divorce, it is not impossible. However, you will
have to prove that this change would be in the best interests of your child.
Below are some of the factors a court may consider when deciding whether
or not a name change should be granted:
- How long the father’s last name was used
- The mother’s relationship with the child
- The child’s need to identify with a new family unit (if the mother
is getting remarried)
- The father’s relationship with the child
It is important to note that, even if you are successful in changing your
child’s last name, it will not change the legally recognized identity
of the child’s father. Moreover, it will not impact the father’s
duties, rights of inheritance, child support, or visitation. If you wish
to change your co-parent’s role in the life of your child, you will
need to petition the court for a new
child custody order. If you are getting remarried and your child’s stepparent
would like to adopt your child, your ex’s parental rights must first
be terminated. Your ex may do this voluntarily to be relieved of any financial
obligations or, if the court deems the child’s father unfit, his
rights may be terminated.
Set Up a Case Evaluation with One of Our Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Today!
If you would like to change your child’s last name now that you and
your spouse are no longer together, the legal team at the Law Office of
Kathryn Marteeny can assist you with this process. We understand that,
in the aftermath of your divorce, you may want certain areas of your life
to reflect these changes and will work with you to help you achieve your goals.
Reach out to our law firm today at
(713) 936-2300 to request an initial case evaluation with one of our experienced
family law attorneys to get started.