When my son was born his mother was still legally married to another man but they were going through their divorce process. For this reason the hospital put HIS name on my son's birth certificate. I am trying to get my name placed on the certificate now. My now ex wife refuses to sign the papers I mailed to her, get them notarized, and return them so I can file them. She has refused to sign for a "signature requested mailing" containing the forms on two occasions. My next step is to have the court set a hearing date summonsing her to appear and sign in the judges presence. In the beginning I was willing to pay all expense. She would only have to pay the notary to verify her signature on the forms. I am going to ask the judge to order her to be made to reimburse me for half of the cost of the birth certificate rewrite, and also for all court costs, filing fees, city parking for the court house and both certified mailing expenses. Are there any other fees or fines that I can get the judge to impose? In the state of Massachusetts could I get the judge to impose a triple damages, or something to that effect, to compensate me for her obvious non compliance and refusal to respond to mailings?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If the other party is refusing in bad faith to sign something that the court has ordered her to sign, you might be able to get attorney's fees. No treble damages in divorce court and rarely do they shift fees. If you want to be on the birth certificate, this is your battle to wage not hers.
Because your son was born to a married couple, your ex's husband is presumed to be the legal father under Massachusetts law. You can attempt to file a paternity action in Court, but I strongly recommend speaking with an attorney first.