When you’re ready to move on with your life without your spouse, you may want to also change your children’s last names to match your own. You can complete that process during the divorce proceedings, although there are some potential problems you will need to deal with if the other parent doesn’t consent.
How to Change Your Child’s Name While Going Through a Divorce
Either party in the divorce can request a name change for the kids, although it frequently occurs in situations where the mother is reverting to her maiden name and wants a complete break from the father.
Before a new name is granted, you will need a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate as well as the help of an attorney to file the proper paperwork requesting the court intervene and make the change. There are three primary options for changing your kiddo’s name that can be heard by the court:
- You are already changing your own name during the divorce.
- Paternity is established during the divorce proving you are the father.
- Either parent has some other compelling reason to change the child’s name.
The court takes into account how long your little one has used the name and whether changing it would be in the child’s best interest. You also have to provide a compelling reason as to why keeping the original name might cause some sort of problem.
Although the marriage is dissolving, the other parent doesn’t have to agree to the change and can fight against it in court. Unless your former spouse’s parental rights have been entirely terminated, they can oppose a name change even in situations where you have primary custody. That’s why the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney is crucial in providing a solid argument to the court as to why the name change should take place.
Be sure to also talk to your attorney about situations of domestic violence or abuse where notifying the other parent of the name change could put your family in harm, as that can also be explained to the court.
Want to Change Your Child’s Last Name? Talk to a New York Divorce Lawyer Today
Divorce is often a complex, time-consuming, and emotionally-draining process. You don’t need to go through it alone or guess about what to do next. Schedule a consultation with Alatsas Law Firm to find out how we can help you navigate the divorce minefield, including changing your child’s name.