Whether you’re just a fan of the works of William Shakespeare, or are having flashbacks to high school English literature class, you may recall the famed lines,
O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
from the play Romeo and Juliet. The reality is, for many people, there’s a lot in a name, especially a last name. It represents heritage, ethnicity and familial ties, among other important things.
So, what can you do if your child’s other parent wants to change your child’s last name to reflect his last name? Actually, there are many things you can do, because the law in Florida creates some fairly specific hurdles a parent must clear in order for a judge to order a name change. One of the biggest relates to proving certain things related to the welfare of your child. Demonstrating that the other parent didn’t clear these hurdles may entitle you to an order keeping the child’s name unchanged. As always, whether you’re engaged in a name battle or some other legal dispute regarding your child, be sure you’re getting advice and representation from a skilled South Florida family law attorney.
The child of L.H. was at the center of such a name battle. L.H.’s child’s last name on the birth certificate was H., the same as the mother’s. Sometime later, the mother and M.B. appeared in court on a paternity action. Both M.B. and L.H. stipulated that M.B. was the father and that M.B. should be added to the child’s birth certificate to reflect his paternity.