There are a number of circumstances in which a parent, guardian or other
conservator of a child may want the child's last name to be changed.
At minimum, a request to change a child's name must state the reason
why the child's name should be changed, the child's current name,
the requested "new" name of the child and where the child resides
currently. A Consent to Name Change must also be filed if the child is
over ten years of age.
A court will use a best interests of the child standard to make this determination
of whether to grant the motion. Of the persons entitled to being notified
of a person's intent to change the name of the child are:
- the other parent (if their parental rights have not been terminated)
- any guardian of the child
a person adjudicated to be a
managing conservator of the child
biological father of the child needs to be served and agrees to the name change, then the
process can be a smooth and relatively quick one. However, if the biological
father does not agree to the name change, then he may file a response
to the lawsuit and seek to go before a judge to show that it is not in
the child's best interest to have their name changed.
Another issue that can complicate or at the very least delay the process
is if the biological father is difficult to find and/or has not been in
contact with the person attempting to file the lawsuit. A court will require
that the father be given notice. If personal service is not possible for
reasons that are beyond the control of the lawsuit's filer then a
court can agree to substituted service (often through service by publication).
A party will need to have an affidavit completed which states the circumstances
of why personal service was not possible and the efforts undertaken to
ascertain the location of the biological father.
Along with the name change of a child, documents that are often filed concurrently
are requests for the court to issue an order stating the biological father
of the child. In some instances when a child's birth father is listed
incorrectly on their birth certificate it is necessary for a paternity
test to be administered to correct the mistake. In this sort of situation,
the Department of State Health Services must be contacted to ensure that
no other party has acknowledged parternity. From there, genetic testing
may be ordered from the court in order to ensure that the correct man
is determined to be the father of a child.
One of our associate attorneys recently handled the name change of a teenage
girl whose biological father was not listed on her
birth certificate. The child's mother was our client and she requested the name change once a
paternity test showed a man different than the one listed on her birth certificate
to be her biological father. Our client wanted her daughter's name
to be changed in order to limit any confusion for the daughter as she
aged about who her actual father was. Other common reasons for seeking
a name change for a child are to help identify the child as part of a
family unit and to allow this change to occur as early as possible in
the child's life.
While the process is an involved one, the impact on a child's life
can last a lifetime. With an undertaking such as this, it is important
to have an experienced attorney available to assist you.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are representatives who are able to advocate for persons who are interested
in changing the name of one of their children.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and