Changing Your Child's Name

Changing Your Child's Name

In certain situations, one parent may wish to change a child’s last name or include their name as well. This change may be for convenience or personal reasons, such as the other parent is not involved in the child’s life or a parent has remarried and wishes for his or her child to have their same last name.

If one parent wants to change the child’s name and the other parent is not in agreement, the parent will need to petition the Court. If you are not involved in a family law case, you can file a separate case called a Petition for Name Change (form NC-100). In the alternative, if you are involved in a custody matter in the family law court, you can request a name change through that case.

Once you Petition the Court for a name change, you may have a hearing date set where you would have the opportunity to tell the Court the reasons for your request.

The other parent has the legal right to receive notice of the Petition to Change Name, even if the other parent is not involved in the child’s life. If the parent’s whereabouts are unknown, you would have to describe to the Court in detail your attempts to locate the parent to notify them of the hearing. In certain cases, the Court may require you to provide notice by publication in a newspaper for four consecutive weeks. This can become costly and California generally allows publication in certain newspapers.

With children, the Court will always consider the “best interests” standard. Thus, you would need to explain why it is in your child’s best interests to carry your last name or change your child’s last name. Similarly, the other parent may argue it is in the child’s best interests to keep his or her name as is.

If you would like help in requesting a name change for your child or other family law matters relating to you or your child, please contact an attorney from Castellanos & Associates, APLC at (323) 655-2105. We offer a FREE initial consultation. Your consultation is always confidential and we will help protect you and your rights.