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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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My son is 17 and would like to change his last name. When

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My son is 17 and would like to change his last name. When he was born he was given my last name. With unknown on the birth certificate because his father refused to come to the hospital and sign it. Five months later in court for child support he told the judge that he shouldn't have to pay because his name was not on the birth certificate. He does not deny being the father. The judge said that he had to have his name on the certificate. When I got a written ruling from the court a week later the judge had changed my sons last name to adding his fathers at the end! I let it go because I couldn't lose anymore time from work to fight it. Now my son wants his original name back. His father is a dead beat dad (DOR is in process of pulling drivers license) and has not seen him for over eight or nine years having told the judge last time we were in court that he would pay but didn't want to see my son. Do we have to go to court or can he just start using my last name again legally?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for your question. This would be so much easier if he would wait until he is 18 and an adult. Then he can do so legally and not have to notice father as adults can do anything they want. He can in the meantime hyphen his name like XXXXX XXXXX-Jones and unless it is for a legal document like a drivers license he will be fine here to use it.

but as an adult he can certainly do this easily pro se-on his own. you just file the petition aand go in front of a judge and explain the matter. No one gets notice so no one opposes the matter. It's over in a few minutes. Otherwise if you do this now you would have to notice father and the court may or may not grant this as a minor.

It is just apples and oranges here as far as difficulty. so please consider waiting her just a brief while longer and filing as an adult. They would grant and actually amend his birth certificate back to the name he wants it to be. and then he can legally change all his his stuff like drivers license, social security, etc. I wish you good luck here..

The law here for adults..

"Massachusetts Name Change Law

Chapter 210: Section 12. Petitions for change of name.

Section 12. A petition for the change of name of a person may be heard by the probate court in the county where the petitioner resides. The change of name of a person shall be granted unless such change is inconsistent with public interests.

Chapter 210: Section 13. Notice and certificate; decree; entry; conditions precedent.

Section 13. The court shall, before decreeing a change of name, request a report from the commissioner of probation on the person filing the petition and, except for good cause shown, require public notice of the petition to be given and any person may be heard thereon, and, upon entry of a decree, the name as established thereby shall be the legal name of the petitioner, and the register may issue a certificate, under the seal of the court, of the name as so established.

No decree shall be entered, however, until there has been filed in the court a copy of the birth record of the person whose name is XXXXX XXXXX be changed and, in case such person's name has previously been changed by decree of court or at marriage pursuant to section one D of chapter forty-six, either a copy of the record of his birth amended to conform to the previous decree changing his name, a copy of such decree, or a copy of the record of marriage; provided, that the filing of any such copy may be dispensed with if the judge is satisfied that it cannot be obtained.

Chapter 210: Section 14. Annual return of changes.

Section 14. Each register of probate shall annually, in December, make a return to the commissioner of public health and the commissioner of probation of all changes of name made in his court."

Free forms for him to use..

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I thought it would be easier to do before his drivers license is issued, and before he graduates from high school so the records match his "new" name. Is this going to be a problem with colleges if his name does not match his school records?
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 8 years ago.
It will not be easy if he tries this as a minor.You have to serve the father and then he may contest here. If he shows up they may deny it as a minor. It is just totally different as an adult.

I agree that logistically it might be easier but realistically if you think father will contest it probably won't be granted here. He involved the court in the first place to get his name added and the judge would be reluctant to override a this while he is a minor. As an adult father will never know and it will be a done deal then.Judge would probably jsut tell you to change it in a few months when you're an adult.

And there will be logistical things to deal with but as an adult with a name change he can just use the new birth certificate to change everything. It really is almost like when a woman marries and then has to change everything. It is about the same amount of hassle but it can be done here no doubt..

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