I have an 11 year old daughter who has my maiden name, she hasnt seen her bio dad since she was a baby, she wants to take my late husbands last name

Asked on Jan 31st, 2019 on Family Law - New Jersey
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Do I have to involve her biological father when I have a restraining order and he has not seen her at all? My husband passed almost 2 years ago, and my daughter wants to take his last name, since he didnt get to adopt her before he passed. Whats the easiest way to go about doing this?
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Answered on Jan 31st, 2019 at 11:46 AM
Thank you for your question. I am sorry it involves such unfortunate circumstances.  You do need to make formal application, by way of the filing of a Complaint (the word “Complaint” is simply a legal term; you are not of course accusing anybody of any wrong doing) in the county court wherein you reside.  You do need to attempt to serve the biological father of the intent to change the name.  If he is served with the Complaint and does not choose to oppose the application (likely, considering his non-involvement) the matter will be treated as an “uncontested matter” and the name change is merely procedural in nature.  If he does oppose it, there is still a very good chance of prevailing , again based upon his non-involvement and because he has chosen not to maintain a relationship with his child.  I suggest you schedule a complimentary consultation so as to more fully address this issue.

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