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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Minor Name Change

    My question involves name change laws in the State of: New York, NY
    At this time its been over 3 years since my ex husband had any contact with our now 5 year old. I was awarded a divorce under cruel and inhumane treatment and was given an order of protection that while it included our child, it expired after a year. At this time, I tried to get my daughter's name changed but was denied because her biological father is still alive and paying child support via support collection unit. My daughter began school Pre K last year but it isn't until now that she does not recognize her last name. At 5 yrs she is identifying herself with her step dad who has been raising her for the past 2.6 years. She has no contact with her biological family and I feel that it is important for her to relate to us in name as well as emotion. The court informed me that I needed the consent of her biological father however, due to the aggressive physical nature of the relationship, I was prohibited from locating him to serve him the documents allowing him to sign off his rights. Now I am raising my daughter and yes while he provides child support, I feel it is more important for my daughter to have a sense of belonging and would like to pursue the name change again. My question is how do I go about it this time around? I want a favorable decision and don't want to invest time and emotion in the process if it will be denied due to the fact that her biological father is still very much alive and provides child support.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Minor Name Change

    Sorry, but you're likely going to be denied again.

    If you want to help your daughter, you have two options (or both, really).

    Change your names to match hers - that way you'll all match. Or, be comforted by the fact that many blended families these days have several different names.

    Why doesn't she recognize her last name, incidentally?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: Minor Name Change

    First, you need to be using a process server. NEVER a good idea to be trying to serve someone whom you've previously had to seek a restraining order against.

    As noted, dad has the upper hand in that he absolutely has the right to be notified and to object to HIS daughter having some other name. However, with that said, if he has had NO contact with the child for years, and has had the burden of child support, dad might be willing to forego the name issue, if he could get out from under the burden of child support. That would entail a step-parent adoption, in conjunction with termination of dad's rights (and responsibilities, such as paying support). You need to realize going in that IF you're able to get the adoption through, that hubby would become the child's legal father, and that if you and hubby later split, that the child would be legally treated as if a natural child - meaning that one of you would become the custodial parent, and the other of you would be hit up for child support. After considering the ramifications carefully, then it's time to start contacting local family law attorneys to get things rolling. If dad is cooperative, it's not a terribly complicated process. If dad objects, then things get more complicated, but after multiple years of ZERO contact, the court can consider involuntarily terminating dad's rights, even though he is paying child support (again, this depends on how much dad wants to fight it and how well you can prove that such an adoption would be in the child's best interest).

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