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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    2

    Default How to Change a Child's Names if the Parents Never Married

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of: Florida.

    Situation involves a 10 y/o girl who resides with her biological mother. The biological mother and father were never married. Biological father named the child on the birth certificate but refused to sign the birth certificate. Bio father has no fixed address and has minimal contact with the child. Was assessed child support but has never paid it. Child wants to change her name, she hates her given one. Will this be a relatively simple legal transaction?

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,827

    Default Re: Name Change

    First off, are we talking about the last name she was given at birth or the first name? The courts are extremely reticent to just change surnames as a de facto attempt to modify apparent parantage. Changing first names are usually not ascribed any ulterior motive. Whether or not support has been paid or whether there is contact is largely irrelevant.

    But in either case, if both parents wish to join in the name change together, it's usually straight forward. If the father is not around or unwilling to sign the petition, he is at least need to be notified by personal service. While he may not have a "fixed" address, he must be served. Only in the case that there is absolutely no legitimate way to contact him directly will constructive service allowed. If he issues an objection, then the judge will have to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Not any one party's (including the child's) personal desires. Frankly, unless you have the consent of the father, you'd be well advised to involve an attorney.

    Information on how to do this here: https://www.flcourts.org/content/dow...58188/982c.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,670

    Default Re: Name Change

    Quote Quoting BMWK1600GT
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    Child wants to change her name, she hates her given one.
    Her "given name" is her first name. Is that what she wants to change? Or is it her surname (last name) that she wants to change?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2,991

    Default Re: Name Change

    Is it her first or last name ? Why does she want it changed ? If she wants her first name changed because she likes another name at this point. She will more than likely want to change it to another name in the near future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Name Change

    Both names. She wants her mothers last name.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    18,827

    Default Re: Name Change

    Quote Quoting BMWK1600GT
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    Both names. She wants her mothers last name.
    Read the link in my first post, but understand that the courts are disinclined to change a surname just because you want to "disown" the father.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Name Change

    Is there a reason why you referred to the child's parents as "biological" mother/father, as opposed to, simply, "mother" and "father"?


    Quote Quoting BMWK1600GT
    View Post
    Child wants to change her name, she hates her given one. Will this be a relatively simple legal transaction?
    No 10-year old is getting a name change without her parents' ok. If the mother wants the child's name changed, then she'll have to apply to the court and, unless she can get the father to sign off on it, she'll need to give the father notice and an opportunity to object and convince the court that the name change is in the child's best interests.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,123

    Default Re: Name Change

    And, if mom is married and the last name the child wants to take is the stepfather's last name, then it isn't going to happen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,090

    Default Re: Name Change

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    And, if mom is married and the last name the child wants to take is the stepfather's last name, then it isn't going to happen.
    Unless there is a stepparent adoption.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    18,827

    Default Re: Name Change

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    Unless there is a stepparent adoption.
    Still, the father is either going to have to give up or have a court remove his parental rights before the adoption would be considered. Still this is the process the courts want rather than just using a name change to try to circumvent the proper procedure. The name change in this case is just a random detail in a larger procedure.

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