Can A Parent Change A Minor Child’s Last Name Without The Other Parent’s Permission?

Can a parent change a minor child’s last name without the other parent’s permission? We hear this question a lot. Here is some quick info!

A parent may not change the name of a minor child without the consent of the other parent, except in the following instances: the other parent is deceased; the custodial (the parent who has physical custody of the child) parent is the only legal parent available to give consent; both parents are deceased.

A minor’s name may be changed with the signature of the custodial parent (with notice to the noncustodial parent) in either of the following circumstances: the noncustodial parent has failed for two or more years before the petition is filed to support and keep in contact with the; the noncustodial parent has been convicted of the crimes of child abuse or criminal sexual conduct and the child or the child’s sibling is a victim of the crime.

A minor who is 14 years or older must sign his or her consent to a change of name in the court’s presence.  A minor who is younger than 14 years old must be consulted by the court regarding the name change, and the court must consider the minor’s wishes.  See MCL 711.1.

In any case, in order to change a child’s name, a parent or guardian must petition the Circuit Court in their county and attend a hearing.  You may obtain the forms at the Clerks office at your county courthouse.

If you have any family law questions please contact Ambrose Law Group at 248-624-5500 or visit our child custody website


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