Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Good afternoon. And congratulations to your son and both the birth of his child and his being granted custody.
Please stand by while I do some quick double-checking.
However, even though he now has custody, he would need a court order or the mother's consent to have the child's name changed. There are some exceptions to that, such as if the mother has committed a crime against the child (child abuse/neglect). You may want to read the Indiana court page: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2339.htm.
As for getting a new social security card, once the name is XXXXX XXXXX would simply provide a copy of the name change order and the revised birth certificate to social security and it would be reissued.
Should you have any followup questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.
The baby was taken from the mother by Department of Child Services for neglect and drug abuse. The judge ordered sole custody to my son and we want her last name to be the same as his. At that point we want a new SS card with her last name
Can you tell me if the mother's parental rights were explicitly terminated by the court when he was granted sole custody? Or by DCS? I'm looking for an actual order stating that her rights are terminated.
Her parental rights were not terminated and DCS is still involved due to the child in need of services for supervised visits to the mother. We were told we could have baby's last name changed but not sure how to do it.
Even if she has visitation (or even if not), her parental rights may not have been terminated. In which case, your son would need to petition the court having jurisdiction - the court that granted the custody.
You will need court approval to change the child's name. And since the child is so young and custody is with your son, it is most likely that the court would approve. It becomes more difficult for the child to adjust once they hit school age.
The basic steps would be for your son to:
1) file a petition (found on line here: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2339.htm);
2) have her served;
3) appear in court and request that the name be changed since he has full custody and it will make the child's life easier with his last name.
The court clerk may also have the forms available.
So do we contact the DCS lawyer too that told us we could have her last name changed?
Yes, DCS would also have to be notified as they are now an interested party. However, it is highly unlikely that they would have any objection to the matter.
You're welcome. And enjoy your granddaughter.