Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

DNA's in-child's surname-must I change it?

My child's father and I were engaged to be married. When I got pregnant, he left me stating 'he wasn't ready to be a parent'.He offered me money to have an abortion and when I refused, he said he didn't want anyhting to do with me or the baby.We had no contact throughout my pregnancy. When my child was born,I called him to let him know that we had a girl.He said ''I figured you would call-MAYBE I will come and see her''.He never called back and I went thru the AG's office to establish paternity. The DNA came back, he IS the father and our temporary orders state he must pay child support and has been granted visitation. He is requesting my daughter carry his last name and given all that he has put me and her through (he has paid for aboslutely nothing financially or emotionally)I don't believe I want to do that. Can the judge (Dallas county)order me to change her name just because he is going to be paying child support? If so, can I hyphenate her name?

Asked on 3/22/05, 11:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

Re: DNA's in-child's surname-must I change it?

Yes, in Texas the Judge can and usually will require the child carry the father's name.

You can give the child your last name as a middle name.

You can suggest combining the 2 last names, see if the father will agree.

Sometimes fathers will let the child carry the mother's name in order to avoid a court hearing or if they get to pay less child support. It's certainly worth a try.

Good luck,

Fran Brochstein

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Answered on 3/23/05, 12:41 am

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