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In North Carolina, a parent may not change the name of a minor child without the consent of the other parent, except in the following instances: the other parent is deceased; the minor child has reached the age of 16; the minor child has the consent of the custodial parent who has supported the minor child and the clerk of court is satisfied that the non-custodial parent has abandoned the minor child; or the non-custodial parent has been adjudicated as having abandoned the minor child.
The specific statutes state:An application to change the name of a minor child may be filed by the child’s parent or parents, guardian, or guardian ad litem, and this application may be joined in the application for a change of name filed by the parent or parents. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit one parent to make an application on behalf of a minor child without the consent of the other parent if both parents are living; except that a minor who has reached the age of 16 years, upon proper application to the clerk, may change his or her name with the consent of the parent who has custody of the minor and has supported the minor, without the necessity of obtaining the consent of the other parent, when the clerk of court is satisfied that the other parent has abandoned the minor. A change of parentage or the addition of information relating to parentage on the birth certificate of any person is governed by G.S. 130A-118.
The consent of a parent who has abandoned a minor child is not required if a copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction adjudicating that parent’s abandonment of the minor if filed with the clerk. If a court of competent jurisdiction has not declared the minor to be an abandoned child, the clerk, on 10 days’ written notice by registered or certified mail, directed to the last known address of the parent alleged to have abandoned the child, may determine whether the parent has abandoned the child. If the parent denies that the parent abandoned the child, this issue of fact shall be transferred and determined as provided in G.S. 1-301.2. If abandonment is determined, the consent of the parent is not required. Upon final determination of this issue of fact the proceeding shall be transferred back to the special proceedings docket for further action by the clerk. [N.C.Gen.Stats, Chapter 101. Names of Persons, § 101-2.]
Contents of petition:The applicant shall state in the application his true name, county of birth, date of birth, the full name of parents as shown on birth certificate, the name he desires to adopt, his reasons for desiring such change, and whether his name has ever before been changed by law, and, if so, the facts with respect thereto. [N.C.Gen.Stats, Chapter 101. Names of Persons, § 101-3.]
Thank you for that, but do I also have to make a posting at the local court house or in any other venue? Am I required to give him the desired name noted on the letter of intent? (I want to avoid backlash on him- we are in a tiny town and this is a high-profile and emotionally/racially charged case)
Usually, you will be filing a petition and the father will be signing an answer agreeing to the relief stated in the complaint, so he will know the name you are wanting to change the child's name to unfortunately
In your case with the criminal record, you may be able to change the name without his consent. See above for information in that regard: usually , if the Court believes it to be in the child's best interest, they will allow the change
The above blue-lined is actually pertaining to CA law, sorry. . .I still think that you may be able to change your child's name given the sex-offender status of the bio father tho, as most states do allow for it
Thank you so much for your prompt information. You have been very helpful.
In looking at NC law to answer your question previously, I saw a lot of sites that offered "templates" for little cost. I will look around a little and see if I can attach websites for you
A minor child's parent(s) or legal guardian may file an application to change the minor's name. However, the name of a minor child may not be changed without the consent of both parents (if living), unless no father is listed on the birth certificate and the child has not been legitimized by the father. If there is no father listed on the birth certificate, the child must be at least one year old to complete the name change and a Birth Certificate issued within 30 days of the name change request. (One can always request an updated Birth Certificate from Vital Records (Click here: http://vitalrecords.dhhs.state.nc.us/vr/index.html) If you are unable to obtain the consent of an absent parent, you will need to consult competent legal counsel to help you with the name change. Neither the ten (10) day Notice posting nor Affidavits of character are required for name changes of a minor child. Please bring the birth certificate and identification of the parents.
If you are not resuming a prior name but would still like your name or the name of your minor child changed, you must complete the appropriate forms available from the Special Proceedings Division.
Before a name change (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE means different than from what appears on your Birth Certificate) can be approved by the Clerk of Court, a notice must be posted for at least ten (10) days on the Courthouse bulletin boards located on the Ground floor (Parking/Salisbury Street level) indicating your intent to change your name, and you must demonstrate good and sufficient reason for the name change. You must also have at least two notarized affidavits demonstrating proof of your good character filed by citizens of the WAKE county who know you. You must also provide a criminal record check from each county that you have lived within the last ten (10) years.
NOTE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS 16 AND 17 YEARS OF AGE: To change the name of an individual 16 or 17 years of age, Affidavits of Character are required, but Notice is not required to be posted.
For more information on all name changes or to obtain the appropriate forms and more detailed instructions, you may visit the Special Proceedings Division on the 12th floor of the Wake County Courthouse. Please see Directions for our location and directions.
The appropriate forms are available online:
IT LOOKS LIKE THEY MAY HAVE THEM FOR FREE THROUGH THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE. . .CLERK'S OFFICE
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