My question involves name change laws in the State of: VA
The mother of my son (we were never married) became pregnant very early in our relationship - as a result when we found out she was pregnant. She did not know who the father was, myself, or her ex-boyfriend. (a documented, domestic abuser and father to two other children of hers) As her delivery date approached, she chose for him to stay with her, so in order to avoid problems, I kept my distance until the day of the birth. That day (early 2011), and every day she was in hospital recovering, I visited her and baby - even though paternity has yet to be established either way. When the birth certificate paperwork arrived I was there, she left the father box blank obviously, and we agreed that for the time being, the baby could have her last name until paternity was established. (her other two children have her last name too... but that's none of my business)
After about a week of baby being home, paternity test came back, and I was the father. (Note: we were not in a relationship during any of this.) I had asked initially about the child's last name, and I got an "I'll think about it." In the spirit of keeping this cordial, I let it go temporarily, so as to avoid unpleasantness early in the baby's life. Obviously, it took some time to figure out informal visitation, etc. In August 2011, we established a fair number, based of VA's child support calculator, on how much child support I should pay - and I've been paying it without fail. And in fact, I was buying my child clothes, toys, formula (from a list she gave me) periodically, since paternity was established. In that same month of August, I bought a home, and shortly thereafter made a bedroom for my child... furniture, decorations, the works. In late 2011, for the first time, we entered a committed relationship - and I got to see my child almost daily. In early 2012 (after a year of waiting it out), I brought up the child's last name issue again, and received considerable push-back. I shelved the question yet again, and went ahead and filled out the paperwork to get my name on my child's birth certificate - which is done. Shortly thereafter, our relationship ended. Things are somewhat less cordial, but I do plan on bringing the child's last name question up one final time.
If she says no, my question for this forum is: What can a father, with no criminal record, no history of drug or alcohol abuse, a successful career, who has done everything he can possibly do in regards to seeing his child, providing financially for his child, DO to get the his child to have his last name?