How do I change the name of my daughter without legal consent from the father?
State/Country relating to question: Texas
I have not tried anything yet, I just started looking into this.
Thank you for your question.Is the other parent listed as the parent in the birth certificate? Who has custody of the child? Do you have Sole Legal Custody at this time? How old is the child?
Yes, The father is listed on the birth certificate. I've had sole legal custody of my daughter since birth, the father tried to take me to court for custody and I agreed to meet with a state mediator and showed for the appointment, he did not. My daughter just turned two years old and the father has had little to no involvement in her life. I've had no financial support from the father but, I have never filed for child support with the state for fear he might commit to paying for a portion of custody. I would like to change her last name to my own in effort to push him as far out of our lives as possible. If I am to understand properly I need to have a state constable or sheriff serve him with the petition for change her last name. If they are not able to locate him after 20 days I can fill out the Due Diligence to change a Minor's Name Form. Stating I tried to the fullest extent of the laws requirements to find the father to sign the forms. After which I can file the Name Change petition with the local court house in conjunction with the affidavit and the statement from the constable attesting to the fact the father could not be located. Would this follow state requirements? and would a judge sign off on the name change with this amount of documentation provided?
Thank you for your follow-up, Nancy.You have the process exactly right. Any name change has to have both parents consenting, or one parent has to be served and fail to appear at the hearing, where the judge can sign off in lieu of the other parent. You do have to show due diligence that you have attempted to contact and find the other legal parent or else the judge will dismiss your petition and demand both signatures on the form. Yes, what you have set up follows state guidelines, and is really the only way of getting the name change set up if the other parent is still living and still has his Parental Rights.Good luck to you.
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How do I go about setting a court date for the name change hearing? Is it just a matter of filing the petition with the court clerk and presenting the Due Diligence Affidavit and the Constables written testimony that the father could not be located? Would I need to produce my own properly formatted petition to the state or would they produce that document upon speaking with the clerk? At that point in time would the clerk set a date for the hearing? Would the state require me serve a secondary summons to the father for the hearing at that time as well, or would the judge sign off on the petition to the best of your knowledge?
Thank you for your follow-up.How do I go about setting a court date for the name change hearing? You have to file the initial form requesting a name change. The court will place the hearing on the docket.Is it just a matter of filing the petition with the court clerk and presenting the Due Diligence Affidavit and the Constables written testimony that the father could not be located?Yes, exactly. Would I need to produce my own properly formatted petition to the state or would they produce that document upon speaking with the clerk?No, you have to create your own petition. You should be able to get a template at the local law library, or see if you can find a form online for your county and state. At that point in time would the clerk set a date for the hearing? Once your petition is filed and reviewed to be complete.Would the state require me serve a secondary summons to the father for the hearing at that time as well, or would the judge sign off on the petition to the best of your knowledge? No, you would first need to attempt to serve the other parent with a copy of the petition. The judge would not just sign off.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41123.2008128819
I would like to confirm if I have this process right. I am still a tad confused.
I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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