My question involves name change laws in the State of: Michigan.
My son is 5 years old. He has had my maiden name since birth. Seven months ago I remarried. (My son's father and I were never married). His bio father is not on the birth certificate (he left the hospital angry because I refused to give him joint custody at birth; we were separated when my son was born and when leaving the hospital he told me "I've washed my hands of this, find yourself a new dad".) Paternity has not been established, I filed for child support when my son was two but I have never received any money. I filed for a name change and the bio dad refused to consent, now we have a hearing next month. My reasons for the name change are I would like my son to have the same last name as the rest of our family (myself, my husband, and our infant daughter). We live in a small town and I worry that him having a different last name will cause him to get teased and I worry he will feel different from the rest of the family. I also feel my husband has taken on the responsibilities of a father. He has supported my son financially and emotionally and his bio dad has not.
I have allowed my son to go to his paternal grandparents house every other weekend since he was approximately 6 months old. His bio dad has been in and out of their home last I know he lived with them. I thought that would be best for my son to see his grandparents. My only stipulation was that he was not allowed to be alone with his bio dad. He has a history of driving while under the influence of drugs and spending time with people and in places that are not safe for a child. So bio dad has seen my son fairly consistently, but not by his own efforts. His grandpa told me at one point he rarely spent time with him while there, that he (bio dad) maybe "played with him for a minute then went off and 'did his own thing.'" He has never sought paternity testing to establish that he is the father, and the child support specialist that I met with told me she knows bio dad (again, small town) and assumes he lied to the police officer delivering the notice and pretended he wasn't who he was. Therefore, the support order was dismissed.
My question is, what are my chances of being able to get my son's name changed to his stepdads last name? Should I hire an attorney?
I'm sorry for the long post. Thank you for your help.