Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
If you are listed on the birth certificate as the father, and the daughter is a minor, and your parental rights have not been revoked, the child's last name cannot be changed without your consent unless you are served with a complaint for name change and summons to Court and you fail to respond to the summons.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Snake River Law PLLC | Mark Petersen
Are you on the birth certificate? If so, then she probably cannot change her legal last name without your consent. Idaho Vital Records should reject any name change request without your consent. However, she could use a different last name for other non-birth certificate purposes. If you are not on the birth certificate, then without a custody order requiring her to maintain the child's last name, she could change the last name and there is probably nothing you could do without going to court and obtaining a custody order that requires the child's name to remain as your last name.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
She can petition the Superior Court for the county where they live for a change of name. This requires that a legal notice that a change of name has been applied for run in the official county newspaper for two weeks. You would then have a certain number of days within which to file an objection with the court.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
She can IF she gives you proper notice. She will have to give you notice to the last known address that she has for you, or if she does not know your whereabouts, she can very well notice you through publication, in your local newspaper.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
It depends on the specific facts of your situation, which you need to discuss with an attorney; the answer might be yes, might be no, depending on certain factual circumstances. But you at least are entitled to be served with the papers and have an opportunity to object.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Generally, no. But you don't indicate whether or not you are even "legally" the child's father, so it isn't possible to explain what she can or might try to do. If there has never been a court order confirming you are the child's father, a name change may only involve paper work with the vital statistics office to change the birth certificate. If the child has your last name, it may depend on how that name got put on her birth certificate.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
California attorney answering this question and applying only California law to this general question. As a general rule, unless there is a court order that says to the contrary, or the parents have joint legal custody of the child, then an unmarried mother can do anything relating to the minor child without the prior consent of the father. Unlike married couples, a father who is not married to the mother does not have the same automatic legal protections. In California, the only way to prevent the mother from doing anything that you disagree with is by filing a motion to 1) establish parentage; and 2) establish custody (physical and legal); 3) visitation, and 4) support. Since you were never married to the mom, it is not "presumed" that you are the father. If you were married to the mom (even if you were NOT the father), the law would "presume" that you were the dad . In other words, without a court order in California, you have no rights. You need to petition the court to: 1) prove you are the dad; and 2) then, once it is legally established that you are the dad, ask for legal rights! And jumping ahead, assuming you did all these things, it's still a judgment call by the judge. For example, court may deny you "joint legal custody" of the child, which means mother, without your consent, would be able to change the birth certificate. Custody issues are decided based on the facts of your case. There is no cookie-cutter application for granting a father "joint legal" custody-except to say, that the court's like starting from a middle point of "joint legal." But in cases were the parties never married-there is an increased likelihood of sole legal custody to mom. (Note: I have seen many instances of the court granting "joint legal custody" to unmarried parents-so hang in there and don't lose hope!) Strongly recommend you speak to an attorney. Many attorneys provide free 20-minute consults (and sometimes more time) and limited-scope legal services (coaching services) for individuals who cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent them.
Answer Applies to: California
The Law Firm of Hayley A Silverberg, PLLC | Hayley Silverberg
That depends on a number of factors. If there is no court orders asserting any of your rights and you have not been determined to be the putative father and you have not signed the birth certificate, she may be able to do anything she wants. File a paternity action to establish your rights to your child.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Lana Panagoulia Law, PLLC | Lana Panagoulia
The answer to your question depends on the facts of your case; therefore, so you should consult with a family lawyer who will ask you all the relevant questions that need to be answered. The Michigan statute that controls the courts on the issue of name change of a minor in Michigan is MCL 711.1. In your case, the mother should at a minimum provide you with notice. The general rule is that the petition to change the name of the minor should be signed by both parents jointly, unless one parent is not alive, has been declared mentally incompetent (in which case that parent's guardian would have to sign), or if only one parent can give consent. Depending on the facts of your case, your consent may be required. You should note that If you have been ordered to pay child support, and have not paid it for 2 years previous to the petition being filed, your consent may not be required. Also, if you have failed to communicate, visit or contact the child 2 years prior to the petition having been filed, your consent may also not be required. In any event, you should still contact an attorney to see if your rights can still be protected. Your attorney may be able to assist you to try and intervene in any action if you have legal standing as a father and oppose the name change. If the child is 14 years of age or older, she will need to sign, in the presence of the judge, her consent to change her name before the order of the name change is entered. If the child is under 14 years of age, and the court believes that the child is mature enough to express a preference, the court must take the child's preference into consideration.
Answer Applies to: Michigan