Name change for minor


Why not try to terminate his parental rights? I think at that point you could ask the court for a name change.


Dear yram:

Greetings. Yes, you must have his consent in order to change the minor children’s names, however you can easily change your name through the divorce (or through filing a form with the clerk of court’s office).

If you need the health insurance card, show cause him on providing insurance for you through the court order that you have for child support.

Finally, fatlilbeagle has an interesting idea about terminating his parental rights, but if you do, you will NEVER be able to get anymore child support from him. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


My exhusband has, for all practical purposes, abandoned my children and I. He has not seen my children in 2 1/2 years and while he does pay child support, it is sporadic at best (he is behind $1000 for this year). My children cannot count on him for anything and my ex has told us time and again to “get on with our life”. It has finally dawned on me that it is difficult to do this when I have to look at his name (surname) everything I write mine. I would like to change my name but also want my children to be able to. I am told we must have his consent. This is maddening to me as this man has controlled our life for so long through intimidation and he is still doing it. There must be some way I can change their names without his consent. I realize he doesn’t meet the “legal definition” of abandoment yet he has absolutely nothing to do with these children despite my pleas for him to visit and be involved in their well being. We have joint legal custody, with myself having primary physical custody. My children have no connection with anyone in his family (there are actually few living relatives), he doesn’t remember birthdays etc and recently one of my children was in the hospital and when I called to notify him he didn’t even care (never sent card, flowers,nothing).

We have been subject to so much abuse through the years and now again I must ask his "permission " to do something that shouldn’t matter to him one way or the other. He is a mean man and wouldn’t cooperate on anything if his life depended on it. If I said the sky was blue we would have a heated argument–he has health insurance for my children but won’t give me the card—it amuses him to annoy me.

I do want to get on with my life and I sincerely think we need no reminders of him in our life. Seeing his name is a HUGE reminder! Unless some judge makes him tack my name onto his last name it is not fair that we have to remain, his possession. Please offer me some options. Thank you.

PS Obviously I cannot afford a complicated court case, financially or emotionally, but surely there is something I can do.[?]