I need some information on legally changing the last name of my son. Do I need a lawyer for this or can I do it myself? I want to change his last name to my maiden name. Right now his last name is the same as mine, which is my married name and I am not married any longer and my ex-husband is not his father. His last name right now isn’t part of his blood or heritage and I would like to change it but don’t know how complicated or expensive it’s going to be. Who do I contact about this? I look on the Internet at the Vital Statistics sites but haven’t found anything. Can anyone direct me where I need to go?
Just go to the hall of Records in the town he was born in. I changed my son’s last name when he was 2 years old. He had my last name(maiden, whatever, still my last name) and I had reuinited with his father(we never married). I decided he should have his father’s last name.
So Ishowed ID to prove I was his mother, paid $15.00 and they typed up a new birth certificate. 1,2,3.
It was just about as easy for my niece as an adult. She just went to the hall of records and the dmv for a new drivers license. Had to tell the dmv her old name, but that’s just about it.
You can’t do it for fraudulent reasons, tho.
I only know two things;
I know what I need to know
I know what I want to know
Is it not so, then, that even while you can establish added or atached records, to show your use of whatever name you choose, the Hall of Records cannot alter the original birth certificates? Did they actually type a new birth certificate to replce the old—or was the new one simply some formal attachment to the old? What state…?
Beats me ASPA. I suppose they still have the original, I didn’t pay much attention. Actually now that I think back, they did make 2 new birth certificates, they gave me one, and filed the other, I’ll assume along with the original. New Jersey was the state.
Rachelle, the answer will depend on where you are. State laws vary. Your profile says that you are in Kansas, so I can’t give you a solid answer. In Illinois (specifically Cook County), you would file a routine petition with the Chancery division of the Circuit Court. It’s fairly easy, and a reasonably bright and motivated non-lawyer could get it done.
Worth a try, especially if she’s in a small county. In an urban county, the odds of getting a surly, unhelpful bureaucrat greatly increase. If your county has a law library, that would be a good place to inquire if the clerk on the other side of the counter won’t. (In defense of the surly bureaucrats, some counties have rules against court employees dispensing legal advice.) If Rachelle’s tolerance for hassles is low, she might wan’t to consider having a local attorney do this for her.
Arghh. Corrected version follows.
Worth a try, especially if she’s in a small county. In an urban county, the odds of getting a surly, unhelpful bureaucrat greatly increase. If your county has a law library, that would be a good place to inquire if the clerk on the other side of the counter won’t help. (In defense of the surly bureaucrats, some counties have rules against court employees dispensing legal advice.) If Rachelle’s tolerance for hassles is low, she might want to consider having a local attorney do this for her.
I would strongly suggest you check with an attorney, perhaps the family law attorney who handled your divorce. If your ex is the child’s legal father he may have the right to oppose the name change, or he may be required to sign off on it. If his name is on the BC as the child’s father the fact that he is not the boy’s bio-father may be irrelevant. Even if he’s not paying child support or having visitation he may still have legal rights over the child. Checking with an attorney now might save you thousands of dollars in legal fees later, not to mention a lot of hassle.
On a personal note I’d like to suggest rethinking the whole idea. Because of my family’s instability I had used three different last names by the time I was 15. It was confusing and upsetting. They weren’t able to change my name legally but I had to use the other names anyway. How old is your child? If he’s a teen, and it’s his idea, that would be one thing, but if he’s young, he may be saying he wants to change his name just to please you (I know I “agreed” to a name change I didn’t want when I was 8, just to please my mother and new stepfather). I guess I’m just trying to say don’t rush into anything. Good luck.
“The analyst went barking up the wrong tree, of course. I never should have mentioned unicorns to a Freudian.” – Dottie (“Jumpers” by Tom Stoppard)
My son is only 6 1/2 months old. My ex-husband is not the father and is not named as the father on the birth certificate. I left the father’s name blank because the father doesn’t know about my son. (very looong story) My ex doesn’t like the fact that my son has his last name and I really don’t either. I wasn’t thinking about the long term when I gave him that name. Looking back on it now, I wish I had given him my maiden name… at least that name is part of his heritage and blood. I’m also wondering if my ex could have some kind of claim to my son because he has his last name and because we were married when I got pregnant (in the process of a divorce). I’m in the process of drawing up a statement saying that my ex isn’t my son’s father and that he has no parental right &/or responsibilities where Brandon is concerned. That’s why I want the name changed too… so my ex has NO connection what-so-ever to my son!
I contacted my County Courthouse today and I am going to go pick up some forms this week and see if I can do this myself. I also contacted the National Department of Vital Statistics and sent them an e-mail in regard to what I want to do. I also told them that I was married at the time I concieved my son and that my ex isn’t the father. This might have some bearing on whether or not I need an attorney for this. We’ll see what they have to say. Wish me luck!
You would do generally well (in my estimation) to get at least an affidavit from the father, given availability, with respect to any decision to “add” or “change” names. His record of at least knowledge and corroboration may in many ways be helpful, later, particularly to the child. You won’t need affidafits for purposes of social security, though. How old is the child, in case someone else reading wants to comment with that information. (I may not check back here in a timely way.) In any estimation, social security needs proof that the name belongs to the social security number… Ummm, don’t have the specifics at my fingertips, so hesitate to tap further.
You would do generally well (in my estimation) to…blah blah blah…
Sorry, I hadn’t read the whole scroll, of replies, before that last posting… You really oughta read the latest library books on the topic and then go chat and check w/ your town clerk AT HER/HIS DESK. You certainly do not now need to (and should not) file needless explanation. What the State and public need to know is not how your personal and family spin off of any universal soap opera goes, but rather that you all will, in any event, use your privately reasoned name(s) for only decent and honest purposes. That is the ONLY legal prerequisite, now, and to meet the prerequisite you’ll have to simply certify. Check. Because the child is a minor, the process could reasonably involve equitable parental rights to establish the child’s name (change). Still, it’s likely that no more explanation than simple remarks of corroboration or denial would be required. Be aware that archaic procedures are still available, but now they are not the only course: Because you may be advised on one course does not mean you could not have been told other options. Again, read and continue to chat.
Oh, and since your “x” is in accord w/ your desire to stop using the last name your “x” uses, your “x” is set to sign off on a draft statement (which need not be more than 2 lines 2 thuh point). Whether your “x” will in the long run want to claim (basis for) any parental rights to the child could perhaps be a matter of open discussion and written resolution, too. This may probably be complex to each of you, in equal portion, partly 'cause the trust hasn’t been established. Maybe paperwork is a reasonable trust facsimile here. You’ll no doubt try to ensure that the child does not, in the long run, wish to disown…