Can Ex Legally Change Daughter’s Last Name Without Consent?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“Can my ex-wife change my daughter’s last name without my consent? A few years back I got into some trouble because of poor decisions on my part.  Ultimately I had to register as a sex offender.  I did not go to prison and I did not lose visitation rights to my kids, in fact I still have custody of my son.  However, my ex-wife has completely brainwashed my daughter and will not let me see her.  She also has her using her stepdad’s last name.  Is this legal or can I sue my ex-wife and the public school for letting my daughter use anything but her legal name?”

If your ex-wife is in violation of the standing custody order and you cannot work out an agreement outside of court, you may need to petition the Court to enforce the terms of the current custody order, and to require the mother to use your daughter’s legal last name. If the school is unaware that her name has not been legally changed, it may be beneficial to open the lines of communication and let them know.  Contact a family law attorney in your area to go over your options and to help guide you through the process.