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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I live in MN. I have a 5 month old daughter and currently her

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I live in MN. I have a 5 month old daughter and currently her father and I are going through a very sour period. At the time when our daughter was born he and I were not married and still are not. Our daughter took my last name because of that, plus I knew that I would be her main caregiver. Now we have broken up and I do not feel comfortable letting him take her without me around, he has a very serious drinking problem. he has been struggling with that issue the whole time we were together. He also lives with a roomate now who has the same drinking issues. We never lived together, and my daughter has been living with me since birth. He would stay over a few nights a week. but now for the past 6 weeks he hasnt been around at all and he hasn't been helping out with anything. He even refused to buy diapers. I also have a 6 year old son from a previous relationship. I am currently receiving assistance for both of my children, and still, I can barely afford to keep my rent paid. They finally opened a child support case against him, I am assuming he is upset about it, but regardless of our relationship status they would of opened a case on him. So now he is wanting to do the DNA test to prove he is the father so he can give her his last name. My question is, can he just do that without my consent? does establishing paternity just automatically give me the right to start making changes? at this time he is not on the birth certificate, Im not sure why, it may have been just lack on our part after she was born to do the paper work, I dont want this to get messy, again for my childrens sake, I just want to know what my rights are as her sole custodial parent at this time.
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*


Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

Has the court ordered the DNA test?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, Child support sent him paper work in the mail asking him if he is the father and if he believes he isnt that he can request the DNA test.

Thank you

He does have the right to request DNA testing prior to accepting paternity. Until paternity has been determined, the father has no rights or responsibilities to the child.

Assuming that paternity is determined, this does not give the father the right to change your child's last name. This also does not give the father the right to custody. What it does do is give the father the obligation to pay child support and the right to petition the court for parenting time

I would be glad to continue our conversation and respond to any follow-up questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Could he take me to court to have the name changed? and if he could how likely would he win?

Yes he could petition the court to have your daughter's name changed but it is very unlikely that he would prevail. A court will only grant a name change without the mother's consent in circumstances where it can be shown that it is in the child's best interest – this is usually a situation where the mother is not involved in the child's life.
Ellen and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have another quick follow up question to my previous... once they have established paternity, does his name automatically get added to the birth certificate?

Yes it does. The birth certificate will indicate that he is the father.