What to do if I have sole custody of my daughter who just turned 3 and I want to change her last name to that of her stepfather before we enroll her in school?

My motives behind this is to avoid confusion with the schools over her having a different name than me and her younger sister. My husband has been her father figure for the last 2 years. her biological father sees her only about an hour a month, has no custody at all, and pays child support. Do I need his permission to change her name or can I bipass that since I have sole custody?

Asked on November 5, 2012 under Family Law, Utah


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country if you wish to change the surname of your daughter you need to file a petition with the court in the county where you reside seeking what you want serving a copy of the petition upon the biological father.

The court will order that there be published notice of the application in a newspaper where you reside once a week for a month. Afterwards there will be a hearing where all those who may object to the matter can voice their opposition including the biological father. I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney about this matter.

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