Can my child have its biological father’s last name if I’m married to another man?

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Can my child have its biological father’s last name if I’m married to another man?

I have been separated from my husband for almost a year and we are currently going through a divorce. I am 7 months pregnant with my boyfriend’s child. I recently went to court for my divorce and was told I had to get a lawyer since I’m pregnant. Well I do not want my child to have my husband’s last name; I want him to have his father’s last name. Is this possible in TN? I cannot afford a lawyer and don’t have much time left. If I cannot put my boyfriend’s last night can I put my maiden name?

Asked on May 23, 2011 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok stress is no good in your condition so calm down a bit.First, do you qualify for free legal services?  Go to legal aid or call your local bar association for pro bono attorneys.  Now, there is a presumption that a child born while you are married is the child of married couple so unless and until the matter is proved otherwise the court has to assume so for purposes of the divorce.  I am sure that your husband wants to resolve this as much a you do otherwise he will end up paying child support.  So you need to find out if the court will accept an affidavit of paternity from your boyfriend and an affidavit of non paternity from your husband.  Don't focus so much on the birth certificate because it can be changed legally.  Focus now on getting divorced,  Good luck.


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