Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

My daughter wanted to spend more time with me so I hired a lawyer to change the visitation to allow every other weekend and 3 non-consecutive weeks in the summer, split holidays and birthday. I was granted joint legal custody as well as the modification to the visitation. During the chats with my lawyer I mentioned my name was not on my daughters birth certificate since her mother and I never married and her mother gave her the last name of a man she was previously involved with but never married instead of mine. I was not aware that I could have mine name added until now. So the lawyer sent out the proper paperwork to have my name added to the birth certificate and have my 14 year old daughters name legally changed to show my last name. Now she's upset and says that she's never coming to see me again if I pursue adding my name to her birth certificate and changing her name. I know she's being heavily influenced by her mother but I can't prove it. My daughter refuses to come see me and her mother is court ordered to bring her to my house every other weekends and she refuses to do that. What will happen if she doesn't comply with the recent court order?

Asked on 6/28/13, 5:50 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

It sounds like you did not consult with your daughter about the name change. A name change isn't the same as the visitation and custody issues - its personal and affects her directly. In essence, you made a very personal decision for her and didn't give her any say or choice in the matter. Are you really surprised that a 14 year old girl may get upset over this? If you have a court order that is not being followed you can certainly show cause her mother for violating the order but persisting with dictatorial and bullying tactics will most likely just drive a further wedge between you and your daughter.

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Answered on 6/28/13, 10:37 am

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