My question involves name change laws in the State of: Florida
A girl that I was only friends with got pregnant with my baby. Before the baby was due her family had decided that the baby was not going to have my last name. I protested this decision and our families had a sit down to discuss it. It came to an agreement that if I was still involved when the child turned two that he could have his name changed to me. I unhappily agree to this decision and signed the birth certificate in the hospital. During the first year the mother tried to limit and delegate my contact with my son, especially after I got married. Through this reason, when the child was 18 months, I filed a Petition to Establish Paternity for joint custody and also requested a name change for my child. After six months, the mother finally submitted her official Answer to Petition for Paternity, in which she agreed upon the name change and submitted a notarized copy to court. I had temporary custody of my son for seven months and then for another six months after there was a harsh custody battle, until we agreed upon joint custody in court.
That was a year ago. The child is now of age four. Since things have settled down (and no final judgement yet in the paternity case since we are doing it pro se) I brought up the name change. I asked if we could continue through the name change process and she said that she had forgotten about the name change and was undecided. I reminded her that the paper work had been started and she had agreed to it in her Answer for Paternity that was notarized and submitted to court. She then became hostile, aggressive, and unwilling to further the discussion.
She says she will not change our child's last name, without any reason even though I asked for one several times. She has also been engaged at least twice that I know of, intending on getting married and changing her last name. So then our child would not have either of his parents last names. She uses our child's last name to inform people that I am not in his life and a dead beat dad, which she has said to me several time, while I have joint custody. She simply doesn't want to change our son's name because it is something I have sincerely wanted.
I want to know if her actions along with the Answer she submitted, if this was legally binding and enough to get my son's name changed in court without her agreeing? I want to be fully knowledgeable before asking to have a hearing before the judge or magistrate.