Spanish and Arabic translation available | 

Can I Change My Child’s Name Without the Other Parent’s Consent?

To learn more about whether or not you can change your child’s last name without the consent of your child’s other parent, read on and give our firm a call today to speak with our skilled New Jersey divorce and family law attorneys.

When can a child’s name be changed without consent from the other parent in New Jersey?

If you would like to switch your child’s last name, there are some instances when a name change petition will be approved without the consent of both parents including the following:

  • In a situation where the parental rights of one parent have been legally terminated, the other parent may change the child’s last name without permission.
  • In a situation where the mother has sole physical custody, is not married, and where paternal rights have not been established, the mother may change the child’s last name without permission.
  • In a situation where the petitioning parent has been unable to locate and notify the other parent, the petitioning parent might be able to change the child’s name without permission.

Can my child’s name be changed as a part of the divorce proceedings?

No, in New Jersey it is not possible for you to change your child’s last name as part of the divorce proceedings. However, keep in mind that you can start different court procedures to change your child’s name. Reach out to our firm to learn more about this. We are here to help.

What factors will the court look into when figuring out what is best for the child?

When the court is hearing a case regarding a parent wanting to change their child’s last name, they will consider a number of different factors. Most importantly, they will look at what is best for the child. As a result, the court will consider the following:

  • why the parent wants the name changed
  • why the other parent does not want the name changed
  • the quality of the relationship of the child with each parent
  • length of time the child has used the surname
  • the child’s identification as a member or part of the family unit
  • the possible impact of the name change on the child
  • what name the child wants, depending on the age of the child, and
  • anything else that is important to the situation.


At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC, our seasoned divorce and family law attorneys ensure that through the process of resolving your family matter, you feel empowered, not overwhelmed. Providing unwavering support, undivided attention, and unflinching advocacy, our team invests in your cause, working tirelessly to pave your path toward a brighter tomorrow. If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.