Best Way to Legally Change a Child’s Last Name

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There are a variety of reasons for changing a child’s last name, but it is better to do it legally to avoid any complications later. The methods for changing a child’s last name can vary from region to region, but the process isn’t difficult when you understand the proper steps. Here are some of the most common ways to change a child’s last name.

Way 1: Contact Your Local Court System

Many court systems provide information concerning name changes at online websites, but you may need to call a government official for information. You can also visit the courthouse to request the documents required for changing your child’s last name.

Way 2: Completing the Forms Required For a Name Change

There are a lot of forms required for a name change, and you may need to complete duplicate documents. It is important to make copies of the documents after you proofread the papers. Remember that if you make an error, then it can delay your request for a change of a last name.

Way 3: Filing Your Legal Documents For Changing a Last Name

You must file your documents correctly according to the court’s guidelines, and you may need to do this at the courthouse. If you must file documents in person with an official, then make sure to receive a receipt. Alternatively, you may only need to mail the documents, so you should make sure to attach the correct amount of postage.

Way 4: Contacting the Other Parent

The courts may require you to contact the other parent, and in this case, you might need a legal affidavit that permits you to change a child’s last name. The most common reason for requesting a change in a child’s last name is remarriage so that the child has the same last name as a stepfather. Occasionally, a child needs to have a last name change because the wrong man was identified as the father, but with paternity testing, the correct man has been identified.

Way 5: Serving Information To the Other Parent

If you are unable to get a signature from the other parent to change a child’s last name, then you can serve papers to the individual through the courts. This can become complicated when the parent has abandoned a child, but you must make an effort to find the individual. The court officials can refuse a name change when the father won’t consent.

Way 6: Publishing the Name Change In Newspapers

In some regions, you must publish your intent to change a child’s last name in newspapers. You may need to publish this information in more than one newspaper for a certain number of days to give the absentee father a chance to refuse your request for changing his child’s last name.

Way 7: Attend Your Court Hearing

You will receive a notice about the day and time of your child’s last name change, so you should make sure to arrive for the hearing in a civil court.