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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101731
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I want to hyphen my sons last name with mine and his fathers

Customer Question

I want to hyphen my sons last name with mine and his fathers but the courts denied it because the father didn't want to. Is there anyway I can add my last name to my sons middle name? At what age can my son change it himself?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
I am very sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize. Thanks in advance for not "shooting the messenger."
A formal name change of a minor must be done via the court, which includes notifying the other parent. If the other parent replies to the Court and is opposed to the change, then the Court holds a hearing and decides.
It sounds like this is what has happened here. The Court denied the change request.
It is not possible to change the minor's name via any other avenue.
Now you can of course file another similar pleading to change the middle name (or add to it), but then the same is likely to happen - maybe - it depends on the Judge who has WIDE discretion here. Perhaps the Judge will be more agreeable since this is a middle name as opposed to the last name.
He can change his name formally at 18
.
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I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hypothetically speaking, what if I moved to a state more lenient with name changes? (If that exists) Also what would be the best thing to say for my reasoning off adding my last name to his middle name?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
In virtually every state, the Judge has wide discretion for such a request and this is decided "in the best interest of the child."
There is no specific argument for adding one's name to middle name of the child, but perhaps something about "family history" is a very good argument for most.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If my name were to be approved and added to his middle name could he go by it at school as his last name? so he would be using the last same name as me (yes I will send in a birth certificate) Is there anyway I could get in trouble for that if I did?example: John Apple Smith....add my last name....John Apple Seed Smith.....could he go by John Seed?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
If my name were to be approved and added to his middle name could he go by it at school as his last name?
No.
so he would be using the last same name as me (yes I will send in a birth certificate) Is there anyway I could get in trouble for that if I did?
Yes, if the school record is skewed due to this matter. If so, then the Court may sanction a party for attempting to circle around the ruling.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Just wondering, if he were to die would I be able to change my sons last name?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Yes. If he passed away, then he would not be able to argue against a name change request filed with the court.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.