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Changing Your Child’s Name After a Divorce: What Happens if the Other Parent Refuses To Consent?


After a divorce, it is not uncommon for some parents to change their children’s names. Some parents feel that changing their children’s names after a divorce can help the children handle the situation better. It is also not uncommon for other parents to change their children’s surnames to theirs in situations where they chose to give them different surnames after birth.

In Florida, parents have the legal right to change their minor children’s names. Unfortunately, changing children’s names is not an easy task for many divorced parents. If you are a divorced parent and desire to change your child’s name, for whatever reason, you need to consider some factors that might complicate your case. For example, if the other parent does not consent to the name change, you might need to file a petition in court. Once you file a petition, you will need to present a strong case to the court to convince the judge why they should allow you to change the child’s name. When both parents agree, the process of changing a child’s name is often rather easy and fast.

What Are Your Options When the Other Parent Fails To Consent To the Name Change?

When you and the other parent agree on the name change, you will need to include your agreement in the parenting plan. After including the agreement in the parenting plan, there is usually no need for further petitioning. Unfortunately, with divorce, things can get complicated.

Some divorced parents find it easy to agree on matters concerning their children, whereas others cannot agree. Once you decide to change a child’s name after a divorce, an objection from the other parent can frustrate you and cause major challenges. Despite this, there are legal options that you can embrace if convincing the other parent to consent proves impossible. If you are a divorced parent who wants to give their child a different name, but the other parent refuses to consent to the name change, you need to work with a qualified family law attorney.

In a case where the other parent does not consent to the name change, and you file a petition in court, the court usually schedules a hearing where a judge listens to both sides of the story. The non-consenting parent needs to be formally made aware of the hearing and the petition.

How Do Courts Make Decisions?

In Florida, courts decide on any matters revolving around children only after considering children’s best interests. Therefore, to ensure that the court rules in your favor, ensure that your reasons for petitioning for a name change are based on the child’s best interests. The court will deny your request if you present any reason for wanting the name change that is not in the child’s best interests.

If the parent contesting the name change fails to attend the hearing, the court might award a default judgment in your favor.

Contact a Qualified Family Law Attorney Today

Matters involving children are complicated and need to be handled sensitively. Our team of professionals understands exactly how to handle such matters. Contact a Fort Lauderdale family attorney at the office of Joyce, A. Julian, P.A. today to receive help with your case.






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