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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19285
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I have had sole custody of my 5 year old son for a year now,

Customer Question

I have had sole custody of my 5 year old son for a year now, his father had his visitation deferred until he can provide a clean hair follicle test a year ago and has yet to provide one. He has had no contact with my son for over a month and before that contact was minimal. My sons paternal side of the family has no contact either. I am wanting to change my sons last name to mine and I want to make sure that's enough reason.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: New Mexico
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, if I can do it with out paying for a lawyer I would like to
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Unfortunately, the reasons that you have given are not enough reasons for changing your son's last name. If the father does not have visitation, but provides support to the child (child support)--has not abandoned the child, it would be unlikely that the Court would grant your Petition for name change.

I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
His father does not provide support, never has paid child support. And he chooses to not be present in his life. That really doesn't help any?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There is no financial, emotional, or physical support of child from the father. It's kind of like he doesn't even exist except on rare occasion
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the information.

Kindly give me a few minutes to review the information that you have provided and prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 10 months ago.

If the father does not provide support and has not been in the son's life, then the Court may grant the Petition for Change of Name.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
if I were to go through the state for their assistance with enforcing child support it would minimize my chances correct? Also, how long is a parent absent from a child's life for it to be considered abandonment? And how long of an absence would it be before parental rights could be involuntarily terminated?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 10 months ago.

So if I were to go through the state for their assistance with enforcing child support it would minimize my chances correct?

Response 1: That is correct. You cannot try to remove the father's name from the child's Birth Certificate and at the same time go after the same father for child support.

Also, how long is a parent absent from a child's life for it to be considered abandonment?

Response 2: It depends on the age of the child. It could be three months or six months. See New Mexico Statutes Chapter 32 Section 4 Section 32A-4-2

how long of an absence would it be before parental rights could be involuntarily terminated?

Response 3: That would depend on the evidence provided to the Court. Kindly see my response #2.

A 5-star rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive proper credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a 5-star rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.