My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
In order to change the name of a minor, the parent either needs consent of the other parent, or must go to court and get a court order finding that the change is in the best interests of the child. That should be fairly simple for you to prove, if the child has no relationship at all with his father, especially if the father doesn't show up in court. You are, however, required to take steps to notify the father of the cause of action. What that means is, first, making an effort to locate him, if you haven't already. Talk to his friends and family members, send a letter to his last known address, call his last known telephone number, search Facebook or the internet - do whatever it is that you can do so that you can honestly say to the judge, "I looked, but I don't know where he is." Once you've done that, you can file a Motion for Service by Publication. That means that you can file a notice in the local newspaper stating that you've filed the suit. Once it's run for a few weeks, he is deemed to have notice of the suit and you can schedule a hearing.
This document gives you more information on what should be included in a Name Change
If there is a law library near you, they will have books of forms that you can look at in order to draft the Petition. You may also want to consider hiring a local attorney to draft the paperwork for you.
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