There are many reasons a Washington mother may wish to change their child's name after a divorce to match her maiden name. For example, she may be getting remarried and the stepparent may be preparing to adopt the child or if the father no longer plays a part in the child's life.
In many cases, a mother who is the custodial parent may not change the name of their child to match their maiden name. However, there are certain exceptions to this. For example, a court may order that the child's name change is justified if it can be shown that this request is in the best interest of the child. There are a number of factors that will be taken into consideration, including the relationship the father has with their child, how long the child has been using the father's name and how old the child is.
It should be noted that even if the court grants a mother's request to change the child's name, the change does not impact the relationship that the child has with the father or his parenting responsibilities. A non-custodial father may still be required to make child support payments or exercise their visitation rights.
If the mother of a child is requesting to change the child's name to their maiden name, a family law attorney may assist a father in objecting to the requested change. In order to do this, the attorney may provide evidence of how the name change would not benefit the child and how it may be detrimental to the relationship that the father has with their child. Additionally, if the mother questions the child's paternity in order to seek more control over the child, the attorney may also assist the client with determining paternity.