Family Law Attorney in Whittier: Changing Name After a Divorce

GOMEZ SIMONE May 24, 2019

It is a common practice to take your husband’s name after getting married. When you have a child, any family law attorney in Whittier will recommend that the child takes his last name, too.

But what if your marriage did not work and the two of you opted to get a divorce? You might

decide to change your last name to your maiden name.

Can your child change his/her last name, too? Can he/she take your last name after getting a divorce?

Child Name Change Requests

It is possible to change your child’s last name. However, you must remember that changing it could just result in unnecessary emotional distress to the child.

But if you really wish to change your child’s name, you will have to get a court’s permission.

Our family law attorney in Whittier recommends filing a formal petition with the local court. As the mother, you must notify your ex-husband about this decision.

The court will not accommodate your request if you cannot provide proof that you notified your ex-spouse.

When you notify him, however, he will have the chance to contest it. If your request has been approved, your child can take your name.

But you need to change his/her name from the other documents that can prove his/her identity. Doing so can be challenging.

Does It Affect Child Custody?

It may or may not affect child custody arrangements. But keep in mind though that if you have the sole custody of the child, it does not mean that you have the right to change his/her name without notifying his father and getting a court’s permission.

But changing the child’s last name will not automatically change your ex-spouse’s parental rights.

The local court will decide whether or not to approve your request to change your child’s last name. If your child has a good relationship with his/her father, the court might not allow that to change it.

The reason for this is that the court will see it as harmful to the relationship.

On the other hand, if the child has no amicable relationship with his/her father, the court will allow it. The court will also approve your request if the father does not pay child support or being abusive to you or your child.

Changing a child’s last name is also more difficult if paternity is not in question. However, if you and your ex-spouse got married after the child was born, the court might likely approve your request. It is especially true if there are legitimate issues about the paternity.

What Does It Do to A Child?

Changing the last name of your child can be quite a challenge. And the court will make it more challenging by asking you the reason for your request. You need to prove to the court that the change will benefit the child and not to you.

It is a lengthy process. It is also stressful not just to you but also to your child. That’s why it is ideal to hire a family law attorney in Whittier to guide you in this complex process. Call our law firm today.