How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Tina is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have full custody of my four year old daughter who bears

Customer Question

I have full custody of my four year old daughter who bears her father's last name although he is in prison and has never seen her nor supported her. I live in North Carolina and I believe he is institutionilized in New Mexico. I am taking my maiden name back and would like to add it to hers. Can I do this?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

While you are free to change your name by petitioning the court to resume a prior name, you must typically notify the father of the request to change your daughter's name by having him personally served with the petition and summons you file with the court.

He must be afforded the opportunity to respond and defend normally and if he contests the requests, the petition may be denied by the court.

Here is a link that provides more information:

I hope you found my answer helpful, even if the law is not in your favor; please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button above for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous. Thank you.

Tina and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just wish to add my maiden name to her existing name...I don't intend to remove his name from her file.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

Do you intend to change her name legally or simply begin using the hyphenated name?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
May I just begin using it? Also, his name is XXXXX XXXXX her birth certificate and he has never validated her parentage. I gave her his name at birth because I thought she should know who her father was despite the circumstances. Although I think NC allows me to change her name legally since he isn't named on the record of birth and that came from the link you sent to me. Can you clarify please.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Right, if he is not listed on the birth certificate, he has no parental rights at this point and you could file the petition for name change without notifying him typically.

Or, you could simply begin using the hyphenated name normally, but at some point her legal records should be changed to reflect the usage other than her recorded birth name, which is typically done by obtaining a court order of name change.