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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35406
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My step-daughter wants to change her lastname to mine. We

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My step-daughter wants to change her lastname to mine. We have filed the paperwork with the courts and have a court date for next Friday. The biological father now says he is going to fight it and my daughter is very upset. Can he stop the name change if my daughter is the one that wants it? Will he have an opportunity to speak? Should we retain a lawyer for this now? Oh.. she is 14 yrs old and will turn 15 in August if that helps.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

I would suggest that you abandon the petition for a name change until your step-daughter turns 18. Until that time, if either natural parent objects, the court will not grant the name change. Retaining an attorney at this point will just be waste money, I'm afraid.

If the natural father either appears at the hearing and/or files a written objection to the petition, his objections will be heard and likely supported by the court.

I wish you and your family well.

Best regards,

Doug

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So her being almost 15 and having very valid reasons for the name change isn't going to make a difference?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

There are almost no reasons that a 15 might have for wanting a name change that would sway the court; which is why I didn't even bother to address that possibility.

A valid reason which the court might accept would be that her father is a convicted murderer. Or, that her father is a target for murder and her life is therefore at risk to the extent that she has the same last name and can be identified as his daughter.

What reasons does she have?

Best regards,

Doug

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well.. obviously nothing as serious as the examples you have given. Standard things... he has nothing to do with her. For him this isn't about caring for what Lexie wants as much as it is about him winning and being a pain. Kind of a repeat cycle that he presents. She will never talk to him again if he stops this and has expressed such. The school teachers already use my lastname and other places do as well. She has always considered me her father since I have been there from age 2. I understand what you are saying... just not sure how this is going to work if he stops this from happening. It won't affect him at all... and she is going to be crushed. Thanks for your time and honesty.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

While the reasons she has are quite valid, and there is absolutely no law preventing her from using your last name for all but legal documents at this time, I don't believe that the court will allow the name change at this time and you should save your money for a battle that is winnable.

I wish you and your family well.

Best regards,

Doug

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