Name change of a minor

I believe there is a way you can bypass him and get her name changed. However, this would require additional legal research based on the specific facts of your case.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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I have sole custody of my daughter. Her father lives in the UK. She is only 7 years old, has no relationship with her father, which was his decision, not ours. He has not paid a penny in child support in 5 and half years. We were never married, but she has his last name. For years she has asked to have her name changed and unofficially she uses my name, however since I married last year, she has been more upset about it and wants to share the same last name as her younger brothers and the rest of the family. Her dad refuses to sign the paperwork to get it done, but yet refuses to pay child support and be a father also - no Christmas cards, birthdays etc.

The complication is that in the UK where the custody order was made, Parental Responsibility is not automatic - he has to request it from the court and I have to sign it - he never did this. It was ordered by the judge, but when her father never proceeded the judge rescinded the order. I was able to get her passport without his signature with just the custody order and assumed that would be the case with getting her name changed, but was told differently by the clerk today. I do not have an address for him in the UK and have no way of attempting to get his authorising signature, is there some way I can by pass him and just get her name changed? It is really upsetting my daughter, confusing her teachers when she uses a different name and irritating to me when I get called Mrs “Ex”! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!