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Legally changing a name after a divorce

Women in Texas who have legally divorced may be wondering what the process of changing their name back to their maiden name entails. In some instances, single mothers may also wish to change their children's last name back to their maiden name. However, the father may also have legal rights that protect his surname. As long as the father remains regularly active in the child's life, the court may honor his right to demand that the child continues to use his surname. This is viewed as more of a traditional ideal that is upheld by courts. However, there are a number of jurisdictions changing the way they view this matter.

In cases where the father is not regularly active in the child's life, if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child for their name to be changed to the mother's maiden name, they may grant the request. A variety of factors could influence this decision, such as the length of time the child had the father's surname and how close the child and mother are.

Parents should understand that a court-approved name change for the child has no legal affect on the relationship the father has with the child. The legal name change will not affect visitation rights, child support payments or any other conditions. Issues of this nature must be dealt with in a separate court process.

Parents who are going through the divorce process might wish to hire a lawyer to assist in determining the best interests of the child. Child custody, a legal name change, relocation of one of the parents and a new partner moving into the picture could all have a negative impact on the child. A lawyer might be able to help parents navigate through this potentially difficult process.

Source: FindLaw, "Changing Your Name After Divorce," Accessed Jan. 17, 2015

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