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  1. #1
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    Informal Name Change??

    What is the name of your state? CA

    I am going to be registering my daughter for Kindergarten in the next week or so and I was told that I could register her under any name I wanted, is that true?? Her father and I were never married, but she has his last name...well, he hasn't contacted or seen her in 3 years...and she's almost 5! She doesn't know who he is, nor does she really know her last name. As far as she's concerned, her last name is the same as her daddy's (my husband). I am in no way trying to defraud anyone, and she doesn't have any debt to escape so can I legally use whatever name we want for her??
    In the state of Oregon (my husband is a resident there), it says as long as it isn't for fraud or to escape debt that it is completely legal to use whatever name you want. I have searched and searched for info on CA and I can't find it. Help!!What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy
    What is the name of your state? CA

    I am going to be registering my daughter for Kindergarten in the next week or so and I was told that I could register her under any name I wanted, is that true?? Her father and I were never married, but she has his last name...well, he hasn't contacted or seen her in 3 years...and she's almost 5! She doesn't know who he is, nor does she really know her last name. As far as she's concerned, her last name is the same as her daddy's (my husband). I am in no way trying to defraud anyone, and she doesn't have any debt to escape so can I legally use whatever name we want for her??
    In the state of Oregon (my husband is a resident there), it says as long as it isn't for fraud or to escape debt that it is completely legal to use whatever name you want. I have searched and searched for info on CA and I can't find it. Help!!What is the name of your state?

    My response:

    It's too long and involved to explain, but right now, you're mixing apples and oranges. You can't do what you "think" you're able to do. You can call your daughter anything you want; but, when it comes to registering with a legal entity, the name on the birth certificate is what must be used.

    See a local attorney.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    In other words, you must use her LEGAL name when registering her, but you can call her anything you like. The only reason she doesn't know her last name is because you haven't taught it to her.
  4. #4
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    ??

    Okay, first of all...she doesn't know her last name because she's 4 and it's never really come up. She didn't even start asking about it until I changed my name after getting married. She asked what my name was, then took it on as her own. My mother was always upset with me for giving her the bio dad's last name, so she used to try to teach her that her last name was my maiden name. Personally, I think I did her a favor by not confusing her further.
    Secondly, I didn't get the idea that I could call her whatever I wanted out of thin air. I have read it on the state bar websites of several different states. My questions was whether or not California is the same way. The state of Oregon says you can call yourself or your child whatever you want. It just says that dealing with matters of social security and stuff it can get complicated. It says it's perfectly legal as long as there aren't any "bad" intentions.
    So if you're saying I can't register her under my last name, then is it possible to use both? Can I put her legal name, but request that she goes by the other one?
  5. #5
    ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy
    Okay, first of all...she doesn't know her last name because she's 4 and it's never really come up. She didn't even start asking about it until I changed my name after getting married. She asked what my name was, then took it on as her own. My mother was always upset with me for giving her the bio dad's last name, so she used to try to teach her that her last name was my maiden name. Personally, I think I did her a favor by not confusing her further.
    Secondly, I didn't get the idea that I could call her whatever I wanted out of thin air. I have read it on the state bar websites of several different states. My questions was whether or not California is the same way. The state of Oregon says you can call yourself or your child whatever you want. It just says that dealing with matters of social security and stuff it can get complicated. It says it's perfectly legal as long as there aren't any "bad" intentions.
    So if you're saying I can't register her under my last name, then is it possible to use both? Can I put her legal name, but request that she goes by the other one?

    My response:

    Your above response is completely, and wholly, irrelevant. California law has NO prohibition about what you can, and cannot, call your daughter. But, the real issue is whether you can enroll and register your daughter in a school (a governmental entity) using a name that's not hers or on her birth certificate.

    I have already answered your question.


    IAAL
  6. #6
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy
    Okay, first of all...she doesn't know her last name because she's 4
    WRONG! She doesn't know her last name because YOU, her mother, have never corrected grandma and told her to STOP. My kids KNEW their legal last name much younger then 4. They didn't RELATE to it, but they knew what it was and that it was the same as their father (which was something else they knew they had but couldn't relate to).

    Even if you talk to the teachers and get them to use YOUR last name, everything official from the school will have her LEGAL name. Standardized tests, report cards, any letters from the school, etc. so you need to sit down and talk to her about it NOW.
  7. #7
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    Okay, just to make this clear...I've never tried to keep her from knowing her last name. When she goes to the doctor, we have to use it. When she gets mail...it's on there. The scrapbook I did for her has her legal name on it. You are making it sound like I'm doing something wrong. I'm not! My daughter now has a father that she can depend on, so she has decided that his last name is the one she wants. Also, I did try to correct my mother...doesn't work.
    I love how I come to this site to ask a question based on something I read, and I am having people bash me for doing so.
    I asked a simple question, and gave background info because I was trying to illustrate exactly what I meant. I don't have a law degree, and I don't pretend to. I came here to find an answer to something I was unsure of. I'm glad that everyone who replies knows more than I do...and has the authority to criticize my choices. I don't understand why you all can't just answer the questions and avoid being jerks.
  8. #8
    ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy
    Okay, just to make this clear...I've never tried to keep her from knowing her last name. When she goes to the doctor, we have to use it. When she gets mail...it's on there. The scrapbook I did for her has her legal name on it. You are making it sound like I'm doing something wrong. I'm not! My daughter now has a father that she can depend on, so she has decided that his last name is the one she wants. Also, I did try to correct my mother...doesn't work.
    I love how I come to this site to ask a question based on something I read, and I am having people bash me for doing so.
    I asked a simple question, and gave background info because I was trying to illustrate exactly what I meant. I don't have a law degree, and I don't pretend to. I came here to find an answer to something I was unsure of. I'm glad that everyone who replies knows more than I do...and has the authority to criticize my choices. I don't understand why you all can't just answer the questions and avoid being jerks.

    My response:

    Look, that was merely a "side issue" that had no relevance whatsoever to your original question. I'd even hazard a guess that no one really gives a crap about what you call your daughter, or whether she knows her true, legal name. It doesn't have anything to do with the initial issue. In fact, this information doesn't matter at all.

    The original question and issue were answered. That's all that matters.

    IAAL
    Last edited by ALWAYS LIABLE; 04-15-2006 at 09:26 PM.
  9. #9
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    I realize it had no relevance, however, all who were posting to answer my question made it an issue. I thought this site offered law advice, not moral advice.
  10. #10
    ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy



    I thought this site offered law advice, not moral advice.
    My response:

    Some people on this site are emotional women. Some people know how to push those "emotional buttons." Yes, it's a "legal site," but some people get so wrapped up in the emotions that they can't help themselves.

    I, on the other hand, don't care if you call your daughter "Buella Brimsbey" - - it doesn't matter. What matters is that you can't mix apples and oranges when it comes to registering your child for school under her LEGAL name - - you know, the name that appears on her Birth Certificate, and it's the same document you'll be turning over to the school for copying into her personal records file.

    There are "legal" hoops you're going to need to jump through in order to have your child take on her "father's" name legally. See a Family Law attorney.

    IAAL
  11. #11
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    I very much appreciate that last response ALWAYS LIABLE. Totally to the point, no moral issues in the way. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!
    So I guess I took what the Oregon State Bar said too literally then?? When it says it's totally legal to call yourself or your child whatever you want...it just means you. They brought up the social security office and all that, but it doesn't state that it basically is just for you and that other agencies/groups will not recognize it.
    I looked up the legal means of changing her name, but we aren't going to mess with that until the adoption. Probably not wise to anger her bio dad before we ask him to consent to an adoption!
    Thank you again!
  12. #12
    ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaylasmommy


    So I guess I took what the Oregon State Bar said too literally then?? When it says it's totally legal to call yourself or your child whatever you want...it just means you.

    My response:

    Well, in a manner of speaking, yes. You see, a lot of people have Nick Names, or use their middle name, and that's how people know them. In most all States, you can call yourself, or refer to your daughter, any way you like (my father liked, "Hey you!" and for years, I answered to that mo****r)

    Anyway, until you have her name legally changed, with the blessing of her bio-father and the court, your daughter will be known by the name on her Birth Certificate; e.g., her school records, her driver's license, etc. How she signs her name, or what she answers to, is of no legal moment.

    IAAL
  13. #13
    kaylasmommy is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you very much for your help!

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