Does my child’s father need to consent to a name change?

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Asked on July 23, 2015 under Family Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your child's father's name is on the birth certificate, you need to have his permission in order to change your child's last name. If you don't have it, you will have to go to court and have a judge decide what you or can do; permission to change a name will only go ahead if the judge considers it is in the child’s "best interests". In making a determination, a number of factors are considered such as the relationship between the non-filing parent and the child.

Additionally, if there has been no contact for an extended period, then you can claim that your child's father has abandoned them. If after reviewing all the  information the court agrees, then all rights that the father has to your child will be terminated. At that point, you will be free to change your child's name.

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