Can I change the name of my son whenI get married to the name of the manI marry, if his biological father did not sign his birth certificate?

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Can I change the name of my son whenI get married to the name of the manI marry, if his biological father did not sign his birth certificate?

He is also not paying child support nor is he obligated by the court to pay child support (I never took him to court). He also is not a part of his son’s life. Basically, what I’m asking is, can I change my son’s last name, which is different then mine now, to the same as the man I am going to marry so that all 3 of us will have the same last name?

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I need a little clarification here as to what you intend to do.  Do you intend only to change your son's name or does your new husband intend to adopt your son?  You can not change your son's last name with out either the consent of his Father or the termination of his Father's parental rights and the adoption of your son by your new husband.  Additionally, courts are very hesitant to terminate the parental rights of a child unless there is someone waiting in the wings, so to speak, to adopt hi,  This is because his father has a duty to support hi financially even if you are not exercising that option.  You can consider hyphenating the last name legally which would not require consent.  Good luck with everything.


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