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Q: legal birth name ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: legal birth name
Category: Family and Home > Relationships
Asked by: smrtckie-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 20 Sep 2006 21:03 PDT
Expires: 20 Oct 2006 21:03 PDT
Question ID: 767158
Divorce(6yrs)kept married name as legal name was in new relationship
never married had a baby, gave child my legal last name, biological
father signed birth certificate with the knowledge that i'd given baby
my legal name but now wants to have baby's last name changed to his,
and I am not ok with that. Can he legally do that? FL.
Subject: Re: legal birth name
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 21 Sep 2006 00:43 PDT
Hi smrtckie,

Seems Florida law is on your side. They're a little unclear at times,
a name change *might* be ordered, --however, --you would most likely
win in the end, as these types of name changes are routinely
overturned on appeal. Here's my citation:

Determining the Best Interest of the Child: The Resolution of Name
Disputes in Paternity Actions
by William D. Palmer

..."The First District Court of Appeal articulated the standard even
more specifically in Collinsworth v. O?Connell, 508 So. 2d 744 (Fla.
1st DCA 1987). In Collinsworth, upon determining the father?s
paternity, the trial court ordered an amendment to the name on the
birth certificate to reflect the child?s natural father?s surname
based on no supporting findings other than the fact of paternity. The
First District Court of Appeal held that since the order and record on
appeal reflected no clear legal or factual support for a change of
name, other than the fact of paternity, a remand was necessary for
reconsideration of the issue pursuant to the standard articulated in
Lazow. The court noted that this standard, emphasizing the best
interest of the child rather than the parents, would give effect to
the same factors which govern custody decisions. The court went on to
note that a name change does not substantially affect the parental
relationship and that the discretion of court in such cases is to be
exercised on the basis of some evidence other than a party?s
conclusory assertions.

In spite of this case law, since that time trial courts have
repeatedly ordered changes in children?s surnames based only on
findings of paternity, although such decisions have been routinely
reversed by the courts of appeal..."

Hope this helps.


Search terms:
Florida baby "name change" statute

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 21 Sep 2006 02:56 PDT
If ' FL ' is your initials, and not your State (Florida) let me know
and I will have this answer removed.
Subject: Re: legal birth name
From: probonopublico-ga on 20 Sep 2006 22:16 PDT
My guess is that, if it's not OK with you: NO!

But where are you and your baby living? (Just the State)

And where was the baby born? (Just the State)
Subject: Re: legal birth name
From: smrtckie-ga on 21 Sep 2006 10:08 PDT
We reside in FL 
The baby was born in FL
Subject: Re: legal birth name
From: triumfdoogooder-ga on 21 Sep 2006 16:32 PDT
I beg to digress from the question a little.

(LEGALITY ASIDE) I had thought that women ONLY give the baby her last
name if she is UNSURE who the daddy is or if he refuses to accept
responsibility.  It makes no sense whatsoever why a baby should be
denied her father's last name when the father is able and willing.

You saw it fit and proper to take your ex-husband's last name when you
got married.  Why deny your child the same traditional values which (I
suspect) you still believe in?  If you truly care about the interest
of the child, you'd want to instill same values and norms in him.

I have a co-worker whose name is John ELIZABETH.  (Mr.
Elizabeth???) makes me chuckle each time I went by him.
(my 2cents!!)  Goodluck.
Subject: Re: legal birth name
From: smrtckie-ga on 21 Sep 2006 16:55 PDT
I understand where you are coming from and I am looking in the best
intrest of my child, and it goes a litte bit deeper as usual there is
more to it, just because he is the father biologically does not mean
that he has been there through the pregnancy or since the child has
been born and being that he has showed no care for the welfare of the
child and since it will always be me and my 2 children no matter what
takes place; we all have the same name. It's his ego kicking in. Being
a good parent isn't something you are told how to do or when to do it;
it comes from within and if it hasn't been there yet most likely will
not be there.
Subject: Re: legal birth name
From: cynthia-ga on 21 Sep 2006 18:25 PDT
Amen to that. Well said!

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