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To change a child's name in Illinois, certain people need to be notified, including the child's father, unless the father's rights have been terminated or his rights were never established. Continue reading to find out how our Illinois Family attorneys can help you change your child’s last name.
Whom Do I Have To Notify To Change My Child's Name?
You must notify these people if you want to change your child's name:
- The biological parent of the child, unless there is a court order terminating the parent's rights
- A person who has legally adopted the children
- A person who was married to the biological mother at the time of the children's conception or birth
- Anyone who has physical custody of the children
One of the most significant benefits of hiring an Illinois Family Law attorney for your name change case is that the attorney will ensure that each person required to be notified will be adequately notified so that the name change process is not delayed.
What If The Father's Rights Were Terminated?
If a biological father's rights have been terminated by court order, then you do not need to notify or get consent from the father when you are changing your child's name. Likewise, if the father's rights have been terminated by adoption or surrender, then you will not need to notify him of the name change.
Please read our other article for more information about Termination of Parental Rights in Illinois.
What If The Father Never Established Paternity?
If there was no mutual consent of paternity, then you do not need to notify or get consent from the biological father of the child's name change. Mutual consent is usually established by filling out the forms typically given at the hospital, like an agreed order to establish paternity by consent and a verified petition to declare paternity.
Moreover, if no paternity suit occurred that established the father-child relationship, you will not need to notify or get consent from the biological father.
Further, if the biological father was not a presumed father because of marriage, you will not need to notify or get consent from the biological father.
Please read our other article for more information about Paternity Law.
What If I Do Not Have The Father's Address?
Even if you do not know where the father is located, notice to the father is still required. Notice can either be sent to the father's last known address, or it will be published in a newspaper in your county for three weeks. This notice must be in the paper at least six weeks before your court date.
If this relates to your situation, feel free to call our office to speak to an O'Flaherty Law attorney to help you ensure that any missing requirements do not delay your child's name change.
What If The Father Does Not Consent?
If the father does not give consent, the judge can still rule in your favor, and the child's name can still be changed. There will be a hearing where each party can give the judge their testimony.
Please read our other article for more on what to do if the father objects to the minor's name change.
What If There Is A History Of Domestic Violence, Stalking, Sexual Assault, Or Discrimination?
If there is a history of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or discrimination, you can ask the judge to change your child's name without notifying the other parent or publishing it in a newspaper. If this is the case, there are a few extra steps in the process. Still, you will not need consent from the biological father if you or anyone in your household are at risk of physical harm or discrimination.
Our Illinois location attorneys in Elgin are ready to help you with your family law needs.
16 N Airlite St., Unit 3A, Elgin IL 60123