How would go about changing my child’s last name?

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How would go about changing my child’s last name?

She thinks my last name is hers and she’s about to start school. Everyone in the household has the same last name except her and she is left confused when she it told her last name. Her father had not had any contact with her for about 2 years now. Would this be possible? What are his rights after this long of no contact?

Asked on October 11, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

These are two different questions: can I change her last name and what are her father's rights.  Her father's rights are determined by law and your agreement or court order in place.  If he is not exercising his rights to seeing her then you should speak with an attorney about your options.  If by changing her name you mean your present spouse will be adopting her then you need a termination of her father's parental rights.  If you just want to change her name then you need her biological father's consent.  If your name is your legal name then what you can do is to legally hyphenate the name and you will not need his consent for that.  Then she will be lucky to have two last names.  Good luck.


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