Saturday, February 22, 2014

Legal name change, or not?

Q:  If my daughter's biological father never signed her birth certificate, can I change her last name? I am now married and her stepfather would like her to have his last name. Her biological father is not involved, and there is no father listed on her birth certificate. Lastly, I was never married to her father, but we did establish paternity in court, he just never singed the birth certificate. Thanks.

A:  David's Answer:  If you established paternity thru the court, then it doesn't matter that his name is on the birth certificate or not - he is the legal father of the child. As such, you must commence a chance-of-name proceeding. Please consult the court's website for further details: You should also consider consulting a Westchester Family Law attorney on the issue.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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