Does a baby’s having their father’s last name affect who gets custody?

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Does a baby’s having their father’s last name affect who gets custody?

My boyfriend and I have been together 7 months with no plans of marriage for 2 years. We just found out I am pregnant. Now it’s about the last name; we plan on staying together but I need to know if my baby has hlast name and he tries to take custody will he have a better chance at winning? Legally does it matter?

Asked on November 2, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The child's name doesn't matter.  What does matter is whether or not he is actually the father of the child and what custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.  The court will look to the parenting skills of each parent, the resources they have to offer the child, and any factors which would support their role as a single parent.  There are not a set number of factors, but the courts will look at the whole picture to decide what is best for the child before finalizing their custody decision.  Instead of focusing on the last name of the child, focus on factors that will demonstrate to the court that the baby will be better off with you in the short and long run. 


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