Do I need to notify the biological father of my child if I want to change my child’s name?
The simple answer is yes. The Texas Family code requires that a “parent” of the child, whose rights have not been terminated, must be served with citation. Typically, Williamson County Family Attorneys will file a petition for change of a name for a child. The other parent will be served; then, a hearing will be set to let the judge make a decision. However, if the other parent is in agreement, or at the very least not opposed to the name change, then an uncontested hearing on the matter may be accomplished without his presence.
Lawyers in Texas are required to file a petition for a name change of a child containing all of the required information set forth in the Texas Family Code.
The first requirement is that the “petition of the name change of the child” must be verified. This means that the petition requires a declaration under oath, or upon penalty of perjury, that a statement or pleading is true, located at the end of the pleading.
The petition for name change of the child must also contain the present full name of the child and the place of residence of the child. This requirement is straightforward. The state of Texas wants to make sure that we know who’s name the state is changing, and to ensure that the court hearing the matter has the jurisdiction to render a ruling on the case. If you are living in Round Rock, Texas, located in Williamson County, Texas, you cannot file a lawsuit in Killeen, Texas, located in Bell County, Texas. That court would not have authority to hear the case.
The next requirement is the reason the person is requesting a name change and whether the child is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of a court (are there any previous child custody or child support cases for the child), and whether the child is required to register under the Texas Sexual Offender program.
Who must be notified about the name change of a child?
Now to get to the issue of whether you need to tell the biological father that you are attempting to change child’s name … Under section 45.003 of the Texas Family Code the following persons are entitled (meaning you have to serve these people): 1. A parent of the child whose rights have not been terminated; 2. Any managing conservator of the child; and 3. Any Guardian of the child. These people have to be served with a citation.
The biological father of the child would be considered a parent whose rights have not been terminated. Therefore, you need to have him served.
It is important to remember that when filing a lawsuit that involves a child where there are no previous orders, undesired consequences may ensue. Anytime a lawsuit is filed you should consult with an attorney. Child Custody lawyers have experience dealing with these issues on a regular basis. If you file a lawsuit and the other party decides they want custody, conservatorship, visitation, or child support, then you may be the recipient of a counter petition requesting such matters be heard by the court.
Consult With an Attorney
If you have any questions about the name change of a child, call the Round Rock Law Office of Clifford Swayze at 512-920-5080. We serve communities in Williamson County, including Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Hutto, Taylor and Austin.