Legal Question in Family Law in Ohio

Baby's last name

My daughter had a baby boy this past May. The father, (proven through genetic testing) broke off the relationship between him and my daughter 2 weeks before the baby was born, as he was seeing someone else. He is court-ordered to pay child support, but isn't because he isn't working. He has been after my daughter to change the baby's last name from hers to his. He has had numerous DUI's, and his license is currently suspended because of it. He spoke with an attorney, and was told that my daughter simply had to sign a paper requesting the name change. He has the paper. My daughter told him that she is not changing the baby's name to his. My daughter is 19, has a part time job, and she and her son live with her father and I. We provide most of their support, as she makes $5.60/hr. The baby has his own room, and more toys and clothes than he could possibly need. My daughter allows the father to see his son whenever he wants, which isn't often. My question is, can she be forced to change the baby's last name? His reason for the name change is simply because he's the last of the line so to speak.

Asked on 1/21/06, 6:43 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Rick Sommer Law Offices of Rick J. Sommer
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Re: Baby's last name

Under current Ohio law, an unmarried woman is the sole legal and physical custodian of her child. She is not required to change the name of her baby. She is also not required to provide the father any visitation, if she does not wish to do so; does not think it's in the child's best interest; or the child might not be safe. The father may petition the court for a visitation order if he wishes. And the father's obligation to pay court-ordered child support does not go away simply because he isn't working. The back balance owed will continue to grow as an arrearage.

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1/21/06, 7:11 pm

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