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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

Postby adaya » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:42 am

Ok a snapshot of the situation: I had my daughter w/my ex-husband, we have been divorced 3 years (4 in February 2012), I am remarried and my current husband loves my daughter as his own. The bio-father doesn't contact me or my mom to ask about his own daughter AT ALL.

I tried to get child support out on biological father and he threw a fit and just disappears off the face of the earth. He had said she is not going to get a dime from him so he cuts contact, changes number, and since then I have changed my own number as well cause my hubby got me a phone for mother's day last year. :) So he has no way of contacting me and I don't wanna contact him, I don't want nothing to do with him because he's a deadbeat and I divorced him cause he was a cheater and an abuser.

So we want to get my daughters last name changed to the family's name for many reasons, especially for the fact her name is different from mine, my hubby's, and younger daughter. I don't want her to feel left out or indifferent. She has a man who loves her and she considers him her dad and he's been more of a dad to her than her biological father will ever be in a lifetime!

So how to I go through doing this process? I live in WV so that can give you all an idea on which state I am in and what laws I am under.
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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

Postby josephus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:44 am

I live in California and I am sure it is the same where you live. You petition for a name change at your local courthouse. The courthouse I work at has a self help center and yours probably does to. You can serve your ex about the petition and if he does not answer within the time frame in your state your petition will be granted at your court date. You must have your proof of service. If you don't know where he is you can serve him by running a notice in any local newspaper for a period of time as specified in your state. If there are no objections within the time, your request will be granted at your court date.
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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

Postby teithi71 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:55 am

yes, you can. I had a similar situation but i was the daughter. So I think, if you have full legal custody of ur daughter than u shood have no problems, and if not u may need ur ex to sign some papers but its unlikely. You have to go to the gov center or town hall or waterer you call it, and i forget the name of the office but u can prob ask some1, u need to bring a birth certificate and prob some documentation and explain y u want the name change, the judge will sign the papers and then u need to go to the social security office and dr offices and passport if she has one and change all of those also her birth certificate needs to be amended. Good luck! hope this was helpful!
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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

Postby iomar » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:56 am

Bonnie is generally correct, but I wanted to add this - why doesn't hubby just adopt her? It's the same general process as the name change (find ex, serve ex, see if ex responds) and ex may just agree since the alternative is to fight it and get served with child support at the same time. That may be just the incentive he needs to agree to let hubby adopt her.
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How can I legally change my daughters last name?

Postby jordi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:01 pm

I had a case similar to this and I live in Virginia. Here, if the biological father hasn't had any sort of contact with the child or you for a period of 6 months, then in is considered abandonment and the child can be legally adopted. My new husband and I have been married for 7 years and this is how he adopted my daughter. My ex husband had not contacted us in over a year or paid any child support. It was very cut and dry. They sent a summons to his last known address. He didn't even show up to court, but at that point even if he had it stated in the court documents something to the effect that he didn't have the right to contest it. I would get a family law attorney to advise you of the legality of this in WV, and to file a petition for adoption. It isn't very hard to do at all!
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