LEgal Name Change for a 16 Year Old



I have a situation that is a bit complicated. I am located in NC, my daughter’s father is somewhere in IL (exact location unknown), and his family is in Alabama. My daughter has always gone by my married last name, just not legally. For example, at school she has my last name, but for legal reasons, her she has to use her biological father’s name on medical paperwork.

My daughter is now 16 and ready to get her driver’s permit. She wants her name legally changed to our family name prior to continuing with this. However, I am getting mixed information from the courts. One representative stated that at once 16, she is considered an adult and is required to fill out the “Petition for Legal Name Change of an Adult” (no parental consent needed), along with (2) Proof of Good Character, as well as a 10 day notice of Intent.

Another employee has stated we will first need to have a hearing to prove abandonment (She has not seen the biological father since she was 18 months old). And then she will need to fill out an Adult Petition for Name Change, with the addition of parental consent on the same form.

Which of these is correct, and what will I need to do to proceed? We waited until she was 16 as I was told that at this age the father’s consent would not be required.

Thanks in advance.


The first person you spoke with is correct, no certificate of abandonment is needed.