Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

Basically I'm looking to change the name of my eldest child. I am her father listed on her birth certificate and my wife (my daughter's mother) agrees that her name needs to be changed. I've gone to http://www.namechangelaw.com to look up the law in SC and it states:

CHAPTER 49. CHANGE OF NAME

SECTION 15-49-10. Application for change of name.

(A) A person who desires to change his name may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit, setting forth the reason for the change, his age, his place of residence and birth, and the name by which he desires to be known.

(B) A parent who desires to change the name of his minor child may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit. The other parent, if there is not one then the child, must be named as a party in the action unless waived by the court. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child.

SECTION 15-49-20. Court shall exercise discretion.

Upon such petition and the reason therein contained, the judge shall determine and grant or refuse the prayer thereof, as to him shall appear proper, having a due regard to the true interest of the petitioner.



I have wrote a letter on behalf of myself and my wife to petition our county family court for the name change, explaining the reasons and giving them the info on my daughter. Then a few weeks later they send me a letter back saying I need to consult an attorney.

I think this is bullshit, why can't they just help me out by giving me more information if I'm doing it wrong. I can't afford to pay an attorney $1,500+ to do something that should be as simple as changing the last name of my own child.

Can anyone that is familiar with name changes of a minor give me some guidance? Thanks.

Me: 07 MS3 GT W/Nav - SU Mount, Escort 8500 X50, 15% Tint,TWM Shifter Bushings, Prosport Elec. Boost gauge, Cobb Springs

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 10:49 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

The problem here is the way the law is worded it's at the court's discretion whether or not to grant the petitioner's request and there's no requirement set forth to force the judge to explain the reason for their acceptance/refusal. I think you're stuck paying the bucks for a shark if you want to force the issue.

Up here in Ontario name changes aren't even handled by judges but by a government ministry...

NefCanuck


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 11:30 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

So, consult with an attorney. Usually you can simply explain to the attorney your reasons why you want to do so. Most likely the attorney will sell you his pitch and try to have you hire him/her. You may seek legal advice but they may hold that over your head, telling you, that you will need to hire him/her for that information.

I am not sure why they would want you to consult with an attorney, but if you are serious in your proposition, maybe you should do so.

I mean no hard feelings for what I post on this website. Anything I type/write/post/say on this forum is only that of general debate and discussion. I am not biased toward anyone or anything. I am neutral in everything I do on this website. Only those facts that are presented to me sway my thought process and siding of each discussion topic that I post about.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 03:41 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

I was going to tell you, even before I saw that you had received that response from them, that you needed to talk to an attorney.  You certainly could apply to represent yourself, but that's not generally recommended, and the court will look to your level of knowledge as to the subject matter.

The idea here is probably that changing a child's name should not be something taken lightly - it should be a process that is time-taking and money-costing, to ensure that you are not doing it frivolously.  They want an attorney to advise you of the consequences (such as that the child will probably have to put their previous name on every government form for the rest of their lives, or at least for a certain time period).
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 04:22 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

I doubt a lawyer would charge that much for filing papers.

The name change is probably handled by someone, a lawyer working in the PA's office, with just a judge's signature. I would first go to the courthouse and ask to speak with someone in the PA's office.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

thanks for all the responses.

Me: 07 MS3 GT W/Nav - SU Mount, Escort 8500 X50, 15% Tint,TWM Shifter Bushings, Prosport Elec. Boost gauge, Cobb Springs

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 09:39 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

Are you trying to change her first name or last name? Are you not her biological father or something?

Kyle, 2006 Mazda3s GT
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

[quote author=kjh1127 link=topic=114731.msg2396403#msg2396403 date=1213666790]
Are you trying to change her first name or last name? Are you not her biological father or something?
[/quote]

last name. As of right now her last name is mylastname-wifesmaidenname. What we're trying to do it drop my wife's maiden name so it's only my last name since my daughter was born before we got married. I am the biological father and listed as the father on her birth certificate.

Me: 07 MS3 GT W/Nav - SU Mount, Escort 8500 X50, 15% Tint,TWM Shifter Bushings, Prosport Elec. Boost gauge, Cobb Springs

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 01:47 PM
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

[quote author=pidass link=topic=114731.msg2397294#msg2397294 date=1213708089]
[quote author=kjh1127 link=topic=114731.msg2396403#msg2396403 date=1213666790]
Are you trying to change her first name or last name? Are you not her biological father or something?
[/quote]

last name.  As of right now her last name is  mylastname-wifesmaidenname.  What we're trying to do it drop my wife's maiden name so it's only my last name since my daughter was born before we got married.  I am the biological father and listed as the father on her birth certificate.
[/quote]

Ah, that makes a lot of sense.  Hyphenated last names always seemed like a pain in the ass to me.  But yeah it isn't the easiest thing... everyone is concerned about name changes due to fraud/etc, so they make it a bit more difficult than you'd expect. I'm sure attorney fees for such a change won't be ridiculous though.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Desperately need legal advice/guidance from Attorney/paralegal

There can't be that much risk of fraud for a 3 year old. The only thing she tries to get out of is going to bed.

Me: 07 MS3 GT W/Nav - SU Mount, Escort 8500 X50, 15% Tint,TWM Shifter Bushings, Prosport Elec. Boost gauge, Cobb Springs

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