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  1. #1
    pinkbows is offline Junior Member
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    Changing A Child's Last Name

    What is the name of your state? TX

    I have a 3.5 year old daughter who has her father's last name. He signed the birth certificate. We have never been married. I want to know what steps (and cost) do I need to take to change her last name to mine or at least have it hyphenated. Everything I have seen is the best interest of the child. I am both Mother and Father to my daughter and usually have to argue with her father to get more than $25.00 in child support. He is under a court order to pay child support , but the AG's office says the $25.00 shows he is trying. I am also the custodial parent. He has visitation but has maybe seen her 10 times her entire life. I have emails from him stating he wants to terminate his parental rights so that I can not bother him about paying child support. His two older daughter's have myspaces pages that list how much they hate him because he was never around etc.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
  2. #2
    THE PRACTICE-14 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    What is the name of your state? TX

    I have a 3.5 year old daughter who has her father's last name. He signed the birth certificate. We have never been married. I want to know what steps (and cost) do I need to take to change her last name to mine or at least have it hyphenated. Everything I have seen is the best interest of the child. I am both Mother and Father to my daughter and usually have to argue with her father to get more than $25.00 in child support. He is under a court order to pay child support , but the AG's office says the $25.00 shows he is trying. I am also the custodial parent. He has visitation but has maybe seen her 10 times her entire life. I have emails from him stating he wants to terminate his parental rights so that I can not bother him about paying child support. His two older daughter's have myspaces pages that list how much they hate him because he was never around etc.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    My response:

    It's not going to happen.

    How many fathers are there for all of your children?

    IAAL
  3. #3
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    What is the name of your state? TX

    I have a 3.5 year old daughter who has her father's last name. He signed the birth certificate. We have never been married. I want to know what steps (and cost) do I need to take to change her last name to mine or at least have it hyphenated. Everything I have seen is the best interest of the child. I am both Mother and Father to my daughter and usually have to argue with her father to get more than $25.00 in child support. He is under a court order to pay child support , but the AG's office says the $25.00 shows he is trying. I am also the custodial parent. He has visitation but has maybe seen her 10 times her entire life. I have emails from him stating he wants to terminate his parental rights so that I can not bother him about paying child support. His two older daughter's have myspaces pages that list how much they hate him because he was never around etc.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Google

    texas minor name change
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  4. #4
    THE PRACTICE-15 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Google

    texas minor name change

    My response:

    She can "Google" to her heart's content . . . but, it's not going to happen for her or her child.

    IAAL
  5. #5
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    What is the name of your state? TX

    I have a 3.5 year old daughter who has her father's last name. He signed the birth certificate. We have never been married. I want to know what steps (and cost) do I need to take to change her last name to mine or at least have it hyphenated. Everything I have seen is the best interest of the child. I am both Mother and Father to my daughter and usually have to argue with her father to get more than $25.00 in child support. He is under a court order to pay child support , but the AG's office says the $25.00 shows he is trying. I am also the custodial parent. He has visitation but has maybe seen her 10 times her entire life. I have emails from him stating he wants to terminate his parental rights so that I can not bother him about paying child support. His two older daughter's have myspaces pages that list how much they hate him because he was never around etc.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Hyphenating will be the way to go in this situation. To change her name you will need to petition in court for a name change...if Dad fights it, it will end up costing you a lot of time and money- and the child's name will likely remain the same. It would be easier to ADD a father's name than to REMOVE it.

    You won't be able to TPR (Terminate Parental Rights) as he has not gone the required amount of time with no contact and no support. Even the minimul amount of ordered support IS considered support...and visitation even though it's unfrequent is still contact. And Dad doesn't choose to 'give up' his parental rights~ Courts do not like to 'bas tard ize' children.

    Pre-teen/Teen comments on myspace pages about hating a parent won't get you ANYWHERE in court. In fact, most pre-teen/teens 'feel' this way toward any parent at least sometime in adolescence.
  6. #6
    pinkbows is offline Junior Member
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    Well I told her father this evening I wanted to change her name. He said it didn't matter to him. So him fighting it is a non-issue.

    If I chose to hyphenate her name Smith (Mom)- Jones (Dad) Can I just drop the Jones part on her record for school, doctor's offices etc.
  7. #7
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    Well I told her father this evening I wanted to change her name. He said it didn't matter to him. So him fighting it is a non-issue.

    If I chose to hyphenate her name Smith (Mom)- Jones (Dad) Can I just drop the Jones part on her record for school, doctor's offices etc.
    Nope. For official records her FULL name will have to be listed. Plus, just because daddy says he doesn't care, don't bet on him not fighting. Even if he signs a waiver ALLOWING the name change, you still have to pay filing fees and court costs (they vary by county, but count on a MINIMUM in the $150 range if it is uncontested).
  8. #8
    pinkbows is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceara19
    Nope. For official records her FULL name will have to be listed. Plus, just because daddy says he doesn't care, don't bet on him not fighting. Even if he signs a waiver ALLOWING the name change, you still have to pay filing fees and court costs (they vary by county, but count on a MINIMUM in the $150 range if it is uncontested).
    I've known Daddy for over 10 years if he says it doesn't matter he means it. He wouldn't fight it. He would hope it would mean he could get out of paying CS. (I know and he knows it won't)

    The $150 sounds doable to me.

    Thanks
  9. #9
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    I've known Daddy for over 10 years if he says it doesn't matter he means it. He wouldn't fight it. He would hope it would mean he could get out of paying CS. (I know and he knows it won't)

    The $150 sounds doable to me.

    Thanks
    Doesn't change the fact that you still have to use the FULL NAME. You can't just "drop off" the part you don't like on official records. Remember, $150 is the MINIMUM.
  10. #10
    pinkbows is offline Junior Member
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    It's going to cost $198 to hyphenate her last name plus the cost of the birth certificate. They are under $20 I believe. It was only $11 three years ago.
  11. #11
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkbows
    It's going to cost $198 to hyphenate her last name plus the cost of the birth certificate. They are under $20 I believe. It was only $11 three years ago.
    That's for a copy of the BC. To have it amended is around $25 - $40.
  12. #12
    pinkbows is offline Junior Member
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    I have to submit an original copy of the birth certificate with the petition. I don't want to send in my copy so I will have to get another one.

    I will call again on monday to see how much the amended copy will be.

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