- 3,650 Posts. Joined 6/2007
- Location: MA
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Um, personally I would cut off contact with him and wait until it may or may not go to court. His threats sound empty. He wouldn't get 50/50 of a newborn anyhow. The name change is ridiculous. This is a baby not a possession to place a name on just so one feels more control. Why isn't he more concerned with setting up visits and bonding with his child? I would not compromise with him at this point after all you have gone through with him and truly you should have cut contact long ago. Your still married right? ANd the baby has your husbands name? It will take money and time for this guy to go through the courts and establish paternity etc. Cut contact.
First of all, hugs, mama. This sounds so tough.
Now, the good news (I think). Where I used to live in the US, it was really hard to change a child's last name. The father of my daughter and I BOTH agreed to change her last name, and we didn't because it would have been a ton of paperwork, plus a 90-day published notice in case anyone objected. I don't know what it's like where you live, but judging from that experience I would expect that if one parent doesn't agree to the name change, it would be either a no-go or a long, difficult, drawn-out process for him to persuade the court to change the baby's name. You weren't married. He wasn't there for the birth (I'm guessing, since his name isn't on the certificate). Those aren't compelling reasons for the court to grant him a name change.
If I were you, I'd google the name-change process for minors in your state, and see what comes up. Also try searching for any cases similar to yours.
Finally, mama, if I were you I'd just ignore this guy. He can court-order a paternity test, and then you guys can establish visitation and child support through the courts. There is no reason currently for you to be in contact with him. Archive his emails without reading them and put him out of your mind until you get an official letter in the mail from the court demanding you to appear for a paternity test.
Good luck, and try not to worry too much.
I know in CA you just file for a name change and pay $200.
I agree, empty threats. He doesn't get to change the baby's name! Good grief!
Cut off contact to protect your sanity. You are still thinking that he has control over you, and he doesn't!!! He wants to keep you thinking that way.
Keep records of his nasty emails, voicemails, texts,etc.
My ex has been threatening similar stuff for the past 6 years. My advice it to distance yourself. Cut contact with him. He has no rights at the moment. He does not have rights over the child till YOU sign the paternity acknawledgment. He can sign one all he wants. All it does is say if there are legal proceedings involving the child he is to be notified. He can take you to court but he doesnt have much of a snow balls chance in space very hot of doing what he thinks.
Cut contact, keep distance and life a great life with your baby. If a legal paper shows up int he mail, takeit to legal aid and go fromt here. My bet is though he is all talk and no action. He is controling and this is a way for him to try to control you since you are no longer together.
I am sorry hun *hugs*
In case it helps you feel better, I found this from http://www.lawny.org/index.php/family-self-help-140/name-change-child
What happens if the other parent does not agree to the name change?
It can be very difficult to change your child’s name if the other parent does not agree to the name change. You can try an informal name change. You should know that the other parent can stop this if they learn about it.
(I just figured out who you were. :hi)
Hey, congratulations on the baby boy!
As I'm sure you're aware, he does have the right to pursue paternity and custody/visitation, though the idea that he'd get sole custody is laughable. (And, as I'm sure you're also aware, he is trying to control you--he probably doesn't actually give a rip about this child as a human being. So, in your shoes, I would tell him to buzz off about the name until a court told us otherwise.)
The name thing seems to vary so incredibly much by state and by judge, though (as well as by age--the last name of a pre-verbal baby is more changeable than that of an older child who identifies with his or her name). As far as I know, there's no automatic name change, and in no state that I'm aware of is the father's name required to be the last name (when the parents' last names are different). My son has my husband's last name, by mutual agreement. I live in Milwaukee, though, and probably 50% of the families here have multiple last names, so it's not a big deal.
Here in WI, I've seen only a couple of disagreements (I did an internship in paternity court--most of the cases I dealt with involved teenage parents, though, and almost always, the girl gave the baby the father's last name right in the hospital, go figure), and it's up to the party who wants to change the status quo to show why that would be in the best interest of the child (and, at least here, "a child should have his dad's last name" is not really a good reason--it's not 1952--but "the mother is trying to keep me from my child" might hold some weight, even if it's not true, or even if the "keeping me from my child" is entirely justified.).
That your last name is your former married name rather than a maiden name is irrelevant to whether your child should have it or not--it's your name, you're entitled to use it, it doesn't matter where it came from.
I do know in some states, the default (if parents don't agree) is to hyphenate both names.
I haven't seen middle names as an issue, so I can't offer anything there.
So...I guess, what I'm saying is, yeah, he can try to force the name issue and a judge may or may not order it. That's not particularly helpful, is it? ;) If you can afford it, it may be worthwhile to get an attorney, because the abuse complicates things--at the very least, a good attorney can run interference and take the emotion out of it; s/he also would know more about the law and judges in your area and would know the best way to proceed, should this guy actually file for paternity/custody.
Too much drama and stress for a mother with a newborn. For your sanity IMHO cut communication. Keep a detailed written record of all interactions. With a controling ex the best practice is turn a deaf ear to their attempts of manipulate you. He is under the impression he still has control over you and he does not. Enjoy life with your sons and if he ever actually takes this to court worry about it then. But it all seams like empty threats made by a man grasping at straws.
this all sounds awful. i agree that you should cut contact and wait to hear from the courts. you don't need this crap in your life, you have a sweet baby to be in love with. he can threaten whatever he likes, he's not actually god and the courts aren't actually going to bow to his demands. the only one who potentially could is you, if he wore you down enough. that's why ending contact is a good idea.
i hope things get better, mama. this stuff sucks.
Not in your state, but I just went to name change court this year. Watched custodial mothers go through a rather in-depth conversation with the judge about motivations to change name, had the other parent been in contact, etc. There are papers to file, and in order to change what is already in place, there has to be consent or compelling reason such as an adoption.
Hon, I KNOW you really think you have to talk to this guy. I've been there, I remember what it was like to be PP and labor under the illusion that it was up to me to always be the diplomat, to try to 'avoid' court, etc. Looking back, it would have been wiser to do what these mamas here suggest. End it. If court contacts you, you can show up and tell your story there, with a friend along for support. At this point all we know is that he enjoys tormenting you. He may or may not actually care to become a parent on legal terms. If he does, then you still don't have to interface with him personally. Honestly, honey, to continue to speak/email/text with this man would be sheer and utter madness on your part.
I'm sorry you find yourself being harrassed. Like the others, I say do not engage in these conversations with him. You don't owe him anything.
And here's the thing: If this was really important to him and he actually thought he'd get the court to agree with him, he'd just do it! It wouldn't be about hounding and harrassing you. He would just simply try to get it done. But he is of the unfortunate ilk that gets his jollies out of harrassing women. So avoid, avoid, avoid.
And, seek legal advice of your own. So on the odd chance that he actually does anything rather than harrass you, you'll have someone in your corner. Also, you can say, "Take it up with my lawyer", any time he tries to contact you. And that takes a lot of the fun out of it for him. Win-win.
He's not going to get custody. But chances are very good that he will get the last name changed to his, or hyphenated with his last name, courts have ordered that the child's name be the same last name as the father in the past. But I wouldn't do anything, let him go to court over this. And when he does file, you file for child support (you should do this anyway as the child deserves to be supported by both parents).
Unfortunately, given how young your baby is, you are going to have to have some contact with the father (you need to show the courts that you are willing to facilitate a relationship with the father or he could end up with custody). Given how he is, I would have a third party present or be in a public place (hard to do with a newborn, I know, but your ex may behave better). And when he starts threatening or harassing you, end any conversation (and visit). You don't have to let him see the baby everyday, but you will need to do frequent contact. I would also make it clear to him that there will be a third party present (or it will be in a public place) and he has no say in the matter. If he chooses not to come as a result of that, then that's on him. Just document any missed visits and who was responsible for the missed visit.
At the very least, you should consult with an attorney.
i'd agree with goodmom except that paternity isn't established so there's no need to let him see the baby at all. he isn't the father until he's proven the father, and giving him visitation implies that he's the father.
She is under no obligation to set up visitation with him and he certainly would not get custody if she decided not to do visits. If at the point paternity is established then yes she should absolutely set up visits.
Actually in CA you have to provided a certified court order for the name change, fill out a very simple one page form and pay $20. The process is easy AFTER you get the court order that allows for a name change.
Good to know, thanks LoveOhm. The woman at the County office told me it would cost me $200. I wonder why she thought that!
Just looking for an update...