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ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17074
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My 13 year old son would like to get his last name changed

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My 13 year old son would like to get his last name changed to the same family name the rest of the family has. There is no biological father involved and none listed on the birth certificate as well. I live in Mass. Everyone knows him by the name he wants to change to. How do I start the process to petition the court.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: MA
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't believe so.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

So to be clear, there's no known father, no custody / visitation order, no child support order?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

The form that you would need to file can be found at You file for a name change at the Probate and Family Court in the county where you live. If you are seeking a name change for a minor who is the subject of a pending proceeding in the Juvenile Court, you may file for a name change in that Juvenile Court. See Where Do I File to find the Probate and Family Court for your county.

Parents have the right to change the name of their child under the age of 18 years old. You must have legal custody of your child to ask for a name change. If parents cannot agree on a child’s name, the court will decide based upon the best interest of the child. If a child is born out-of-wedlock, the court may consider other factors.

For children born to not married parents, you will need a certified copy of an adjudication of paternity or a voluntary acknowledgement of the parents. If you do not live with the child’s other parent, you will need to send a copy of the petition to them by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you do not know the other parent’s current address, send it to the last known address. If it cannot be delivered by the post office, file the returned envelope unopened with the court. You may be required to publish a citation in the newspaper if you do not get actual notice of the petition to the other parent. Otherwise, file the green certified return receipt postcard with the court showing the copy of the petition was delivered.

These are the forms that need to be filed:

The fees are:

  • $150 Filing Fee
  • $15 Surcharge
  • $15 Fee for Citation (Notice) for publication, if required
  • $100 Filing fee for a motion to change name during divorce nisi period if not requested on divorce complaint or petition

It's pretty simple after that. You'll get a court date, where you go in front of the judge, who will likely grant the petition to change names if it's in the best interest of the child.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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