Objection to Changing Child's Last Name

by Anonymous from Atlanta, Georgia

After deciding to end the relationship with the mother of my child, I decided to move out of the state.

Recently I received a letter that notified me of a court date to have my daughter's last name be legally changed from my last name which was agreed when she was born and is written on the birth certificate in which we both signed.

What do I need to do in order to object in having my last name removed and my daughter's name not be changed?

Answer to Florida Court Forms Question

Dear Anonymous,

I suspect you received more than a letter.

More likely you received a Petition for Name Change and a Notice of Hearing.

The Florida Supreme Court approved form for a Petition for Name Change for Minor Child(ren), Form 12.982(c) can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website. Instructions for the name change form state in part:

If only one parent is a resident of the county where the change of name(s) is sought or only one parent asks for the child(ren)’s name(s) to be changed, the other parent must be notified and his or her consent obtained, if possible.

If the other parent consents to the change of name, a Consent for Change of Name Minor Children, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.982(d), should be filed.

If the other parent does not consent to the change of name, you may still have a hearing on the petition if you have properly notified the other parent about your petition and the hearing. If you know
where he or she lives, you must use personal service.

Although there is no Supreme Court approved form posted on their site, you are entitled to file an Answer to the petition for name change.

Format it in essentially the same manner as the petition, using the same heading, case number, petitioner, and respondent. You can title it as "Answer to Petition for Child's Name Change", and then briefly state your reasons for denying your consent.

Alternatively, you can use our Petition Preparer service. We can create a custom Answer to Name Change form to your specifications and have it filled out for you, too! Just ask us for a free quote.

Above all, be sure to attend the court hearing so that you can again state your reasons for denying consent to the proposed name change. If you cannot travel from out of state to Florida to attend the hearing, you can file a Motion for Telephonic Hearing prior to the hearing date.

Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.530 governs the use of communication equipment.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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