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  • Confused... Georgia

    I have an 11 yr. old son who was born in Ohio. We established paternity in Ohio but I am currently living in Georgia. I have sole custody of my son but his father has (somewhat) kept in touch with our son. He (the father) has already spent some time in jail for failing to keep up with his child support. And now he barely pays what is required...just enough to keep himself out of jail. My son visited his biological father for three weeks over the summer and all went o.k. but his father is now wanting to change our son's last name from my maiden name to his last name. Both my son and I do not agree to this but he is threatening to file a motion and go ahead and do it on his own. My question is "Is that possible that he change his last name without my consent?" My second question is where do I request any legal action as far as him getting visitation rights? Do I contact the legal courts in Ohio or do I do it from here in Georgia? Also, how would I go about requesting that my son's last name be changed to my married name? My husband would like to adopt my son, he has been his "Dad" since my son was four.

  • #2
    Ok...
    First, the answer to can he get the name changed without your consent is Yes.... AND No. If he files it is up to a judge. Considering your son is 11 and is not real receptive of the idea then it may not happen, however, if this had happened several years ago, even without your consent the judge would likely change it... I've seen it several times.

    Second...I don't understand what you mean about filing for the visitation? Does Dad have court ordered visitation? If not, it's up to HIM to file for it.

    Thirdly... You will NOT be granted the right to have your son's name changed to your married last name

    and lastly .. For an adoption to go through you would have to have dad's consent as he has not legally abandoned the child.

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    • #3
      confused....georgia

      So he (biological father) can file for changing our sons last name to his AND go before a judge about it AND get it changed all without me even knowing about it? Will I not be contacted first and will I be given a chance to contest it?
      If he files for visitation rights will he have to file in Ohio or in Georgia? Will we go to court over it and will I have the upper hand on fine tuning (ie. how long, when, ect.) the visitation rights?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rinagcj
        So he (biological father) can file for changing our sons last name to his AND go before a judge about it AND get it changed all without me even knowing about it? Will I not be contacted first and will I be given a chance to contest it?
        If he files for visitation rights will he have to file in Ohio or in Georgia? Will we go to court over it and will I have the upper hand on fine tuning (ie. how long, when, ect.) the visitation rights?
        Yes, you will be notified of court hearings. As stated before, the fact that your son is 11 and NOT receptive to the name change will be in your son's favor. The judge will probably not change your son's name at this late date.

        He will file for visitation wherever the child lives.

        Visitation will be decided by the judge. You will not have the "upper hand" as this is not about one upping the dad. It is about the dad's and your child's LEGAL RIGHT to have a relationship. He will have very good evidence that supervised visitation is not necessary as you allowed your son to visit for 3 weeks with no supervision and there were no problems. He will most likely be awarded standard visitation.
        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
        (unique up on him)
        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
        (same way)

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        • #5
          Name change

          You could File for a step-parent adoption in Georgia if you have lived there for more than 6 months and there is no open cases of custody or visitaion in another state. You would have to give notice to the bio. father of the adoption and in the adoption you could change the childs name to the new adopted father's last name. However that would terminate all parental rights to visitaion of the bio-father and there would be no more child support. The bio-father could also fight the adoption. ( You would need a lawyer to help you most likely with this.)

          States vary on the name change laws. Usually as long as you give notice to the other parent and they do not object, then the minor's name can be changed. (However most states require that the child having his/her name changed lives in the state where the name change is taking place.) It is doubtful the bio. father could change the name without you knowing/consenting and vise versa. Some states do not require you to have a reason for changing the minor's name nor would it matter who's last name it was being changed to.(example:Oregon doesn't require a reason)

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          • #6
            I have just went through alot of this with my son, but he was in jail when some of this happened so it might be different, but his son's mama got remarried and she went to the court-house and ran it in the paper for 30 days and if there was on objection(which we didn't know this at the time) and my son was not notified about it and her husband was able to adopt my grand-child and have his last name changed, and his right's was terminated at the time and he was paying child support without us even knowing. Like I said it might have been because he was in jail, but I thought he was still suppose to have been served to object if he wanted to. I thought they was suppose to ask the mother is they knowed the last address of the father and she did, but she ran it in the legal's in our county's paper and she probably had to pay, like you can do to legally have your name changed is three or four houndred dollars and run it in the paper for thirty days and it's changed. Hope this might help a little bit.

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            • #7
              name change

              I'm not sure about ur state, but in AL, you must have a court order establishing paternity or adoption.
              Doodlebuggs, if the cops were not able to serve for some reason, couldn't find him, etc, running an ad in the paper of his last known address is completely okay. However, in our state you have to at least try serving at the last known address and get a judge to agree to serving by newspaper notification if the address serving doesn't work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Suzy72 View Post
                Ok...
                First, the answer to can he get the name changed without your consent is Yes.... AND No. If he files it is up to a judge. Considering your son is 11 and is not real receptive of the idea then it may not happen, however, if this had happened several years ago, even without your consent the judge would likely change it... I've seen it several times.

                I don't know if you can answer this, but... WHY? Why would a judge just up and change a child's name from the mother's to the father's? Why would a father's name trump the mother's? Even if the child is younger or has no opinion on the subject, she's been raising him. Why does her name get so little respect? My son from a previous relationship has my maiden name, and when I married, I kept it, so we have the same last name. Are you saying that after years of little contact and no support, I could just be up a creek if the bio-dad wants the kid to have his last name? What if the child is already in school, where he's already known by his mother's last name?

                I am one of those crazy women who hate that a woman's name is thrown out the window when it comes to marriage and children, as if it is FAR MORE important to carry on the man's name than my own. It just makes no sense to me.

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                • #9
                  He was in jail, so the cops knew where he was at. That's what I thought that they had to at least try to find the absent parent to give them a chance to object if they would like. They didn't serve my son with anything to let him know about it. I hope everything works out for you and your son.

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