Will changing my child’s last name affect the child support process?

On the birth certificate, only my name appears. The father’s name says unknown, but my daughter has her father’s last name. I want to change her last name to mine. Would that be difficult? He has not been part of her life for over 2 years and has warrants for his arrests for not paying child support. Would this stop the child support collection?

Asked on September 10, 2012 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Adding a Father's name to a birth certificate - if the parties are not married at the time of birth most - is most often accompanied by an Acknowledgement of Paternity form whih is what helps give your child legal rights to support.   It does not mean that paternity can not be estabished later or contested later.  If no name is on the birth certificate then legally how does she have his last name?  Was paternity established at another time but the birth certificate was not amended to reflect the change?  That has to be figured out here because the general rule is that consent of both parents is required to legally change a child's name.   You could amend it to hyphenate both names with out his consent.  Get help.  Good luck.

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