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Can I Change My Child’s Last Name After a Divorce in Texas?

 Posted on June 16, 2024 in Divorce

Frisco, TX divorce lawyerMany things change after a divorce. People often see it as an opportunity to move on and even reinvent themselves. This sometimes includes changing their last names back to their maiden names, which many divorcees choose to do.

It is also common for a divorced parent to want to change the last name of his or her child. This can sometimes be done, but it is not as simple as changing your own name. Under Texas law, unless your divorce decree states otherwise, your co-parent has the same rights and responsibilities that you do. Therefore, there is a legal process for changing a child’s last name after a divorce, which only should be done with the guidance of a Texas divorce attorney.

How Can I Change My Child’s Last Name?

Your child’s last name will not automatically change if yours does. If you want to change your child’s last name, Texas law says that you need to petition a court to do so. When you do, the judge will be looking for the answer to one question: Is the name change in the child’s best interest? To find that answer, the court will look at certain factors, such as:

  • The wishes of the child: Does the child want the name change?

  • The wishes of your ex: Does the child's co-parent oppose the name change?

  • The child’s relationships: How is your child’s relationship with his or her siblings who share the current name? How is your child’s relationship with your ex?

Keep in mind that even if you have the majority of physical custody, also known as possession in Texas, it does not guarantee that a judge will order the name change.

Can I Use a Different Name for My Child Without a Court Order?

Some divorced parents might use a different last name for their child even without a court order. They might enroll the child in school under a different last name, use a different surname for doctor’s visits, or enter a different last name in certain documents. If you do this without court approval, your ex may be able to take legal action against you. He or she can ask the court to issue an injunction that prevents you from using a different last name for the child in the future.

Schedule a Consultation With a Frisco, TX Divorce Lawyer

After you get divorced, making decisions about your child often becomes more difficult. The child does not belong only to you, so making lasting changes in the child’s life usually requires the approval of the child’s other parent and/or a court. Hiring the right Collin County, TX divorce attorney is a great way to make sure that you are not only aware of the legal processes but also that they go as smoothly as possible.

When you bring your case to The Law Office of Linda Risinger, you will work with some of the most skilled attorneys in Texas. We have over 30 years of experience in practicing family law and we excel at fighting aggressively for our clients. Call 972-294-6533 for a free consultation today.

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