Can my minor son be known by a last name other than what is on his birth certificate without legally changing it?

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Can my minor son be known by a last name other than what is on his birth certificate without legally changing it?

I am assuming any legal documents would have to have his birth given last name, but can he use a different last name to be addressed by others as long as it isnt to defraud anyone (he is 4 and just starting school). He wants to use the same last name as everyone else in the house. What is the legality of this or should I just use his given last name and our last name combined?

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although it is true as you have said regarding with out intention to defraud, I would do as you suggested really and hyphenate his last name and your last name and I would change it legally so that there is not issue later on.  generally speking, you would not need the permission of his father to hyphenate the names.  Good luck.


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