How to change my child’s name if his father won’t agree?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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How to change my child’s name if his father won’t agree?

I am a single mother with a 3 year old son. My son’s father has not been in his life since he was an infant. I have never filed for child support from him and he never tries to see my son. My son was born with his father’s last name but now I want to give my son my last name. I just recently contacted my son’s father after years of him being out of the picture. However, he is not cooperating with me to change my son’s name. How can I go about doing this without him signing the papers? My son’s father’s family and girlfriend are harassing me with threats.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Family Law, Maryland


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  You need his consent unless you terminate his rights. You need to make some decisions here on how you want to proceed.  You obviously know that you are entitled to child support but you have not pursued it.  Maybe because you think that if you do he will push visitation.  So decide if you want to try and put him out of your lives by terminating his parental rights.  If you do then be prepared for a fight from him.  So now you need to start to document the threats and harassment.  Maybe a restraining order for him, the girl friend and the family?  You should not have to subject yourself or the baby to this.  Termination is difficult to get but child support can be an issue for leverage.  Please seek legal help here.  Good luck.

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