Can I change the name of my child if he is minor and in my custody?

UPDATED: May 15, 2012

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Can I change the name of my child if he is minor and in my custody?

I have a minor son who is 19 months old and I am unmarried mother. The father was abusive and has a history of domestic violence; he does not help support the child. I am his sole supporter and guardian. I am applying for a name change. I have never been to court before so I do not know how to conduct the hearing and I need help in representing myself, my son and this case. I need to know the right things that I will need to explain to the court in order to follow through with the name change and conduct the case properly even if the father shows up.

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Look at this form:

Now, if there is no order of custody or visitation of the father then you will probably not need his consent.  The general rule is that you need consent of both parties.  Are you changing his name from his father's to yours?  That could be a problem and you may have to give the father notice.  You can probably add your last name to the child's with out a problem.  Good luck.

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