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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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If someone has full legal and sole custody of a child, can

Customer Question

If someone has full legal and sole custody of a child, can they legally change the childs last name without the other parents consent? Also If something happens to the parent with full custody does the minor automatically go to the biological parent who does not have custody or can the primary appoint legal gaurdianship to someone else in a will?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Tina replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:
In which state is the child located?
I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Tina replied 2 years ago.
If the non-custodial parent's rights have not been terminated, then a legal name child for the child could not be made without that parent's opportunity to oppose such a request by the custodial parent typically.
Upon death of the custodial parent, custody will typically pass to the non-custodial parent. However, the custodial parent can designate someone in their will who they wish to receive guardianship/custody of the child and a court can award guardianship to that person even over the objections of the biological non-custodial parent if there is good cause to do so.
I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** is helpful, I hear MD is a "biological parent" state. My ex husband has not seen, or made any attempt to contact our child in 5 years. ( our child is only 10 so 1/0 her life) prior that he was non exsistant as well. My current husband wants to adopt her, but we hear that if he petitions it 9 out of 10 times the courts will give him visitation rights. ( we dont want that) The courts can not make him give up his parental rights even if he is a criminal and has a long long history of voilence, correct?
Expert:  Tina replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
MD does appear to have very narrow circumstances in which a parent's rights may be involuntarily terminated. These are:
Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights
Family Law § 5-525.1
A petition for termination of parental rights shall be filed if:
• The child has been in an out-of-home placement for 15 of the most recent 22 months.
• A court finds that the child is an abandoned infant.
• A court finds that the parent has been convicted, in any State or any court of the United States, of:
» A crime of violence against a minor offspring of the parent, the child, or another parent of the child
» Aiding, abetting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit a crime described above
IF these circumstances do not exist, then a court may not have the authority to terminate the non-custodial parents' rights even if they would like to.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Got it, thanks again for your help
Expert:  Tina replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome. Good luck to you and your family.