After a divorce, it is not uncommon for one parent to want to have the children’s last names be the same as their own. In situations where one parent becomes absent, this process may not be difficult. However, if the parents share custody and decision-making rights, it can be difficult to change a child’s last name especially if the other party chooses to object. Before attempting to change your child’s last name after a separation or divorce, it is always important to consult with a Metairie child relocation attorney to see if you have a case.
Who Must Consent?
In order for a parent to change a child’s last name after divorce or separation, they need to have to have consent of both parents as well as anyone who has parental responsibility. This could be a step-parent or grandparent. Along with filling out the correct paperwork, this may be the only hurdle in changing your child’s name.
The Best Interest of the Child
The main factor of importance for the judge will be that the name change is in the best interest of the child. If all parties agree and the name change makes sense, a judge will most likely grant the motion. However, if someone with parental rights is particularly adamant against the name change, a judge may see this as a negative and not allow paperwork to go through.
It is important to note that even if you change your child’s last name, the other parent will still be legally known as the biological parent of the child. Never change your child’s last name out of spite for the other parent, only do it in situations where it is appropriate and makes the most sense for your child. A name change is a big decision and should not be taken lightly.