Can I legally change my son’s name without father’s consent?

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Can I legally change my son’s name without father’s consent?

I have sold legal and physical custody of my son. His father has no visitation per order if the court. His father has not seen him or paid child support in 5 years. My son is entering kindergarten and assumes his last name is the same as mine.

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well, yes you can if a Judge allows it.  You are going to have to make an application to the court on notice to the father of your intention to legally change his last name.  Generally the law allows the court can order it over the objection of the other party if it is in the child's best interests and in some states if the father does not contribute to support or maintained contact with the child.  Your state law will indeed govern.  Now, you may want to apply for a hyphenated last name using yours and his fathers if the court will not allow the change.  This way he has both.  Good luck.


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