I Tried to Change My Daughter’s Last Name, But Now Her Absentee Father Wants to Stop Paying Child Support: Any Advice?

A mom writes in asking for advice after she attempted to change her daughter’s last name because her biological father is no longer in her life. However, when she reached out to her daughter’s father to ask him to sign the legal papers that would make the switch official, he told her that he would sign the papers but that would he would no longer pay child support. When the mom didn’t agree to that, he said he wanted visitation rights after seven years of not having any contact with his daughter. Now the mom is wondering if a judge would actually grant him partial custody. Any advice?

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A member of the community asks:

“My daughter is eight years old, and her biological father stopped seeing her around 13 months of age. I met my now-husband when my daughter was four months old. So she thinks my husband is her real dad. My husband has taken over the dad role, and his family treats her as family as well.

Well, the past two years, I’ve been trying to change my daughter’s last name to mine, and it’s been a struggle because I couldn’t find [her] dad’s address. Well, I recently found him, and he is in agreement to sign papers, but only if I drop child support. At first, I said no to dropping support, so a few days ago he said since [if] he’s paying child support, he wants to start visitation again… in which I am not going to allow since he has been absent for seven years.

He’s missed birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and when she was in the hospital for a month with strep in her brain. So my question, do you think a judge would give him visitation if he’s been out of her life for seven years?”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Mom Worried About Losing Full Custody of Her Daughter

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionWould a judge grant visitation to an absent father?My daughter is eight years old, and her biological…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Advice Summary

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Many people think this mom has two separate issues on her hands and that she can’t have it both ways. Either change the child’s last name and refuse child support, or keep collecting child support and allow him to have visitation.

One commenter wrote, “You can’t have it both ways. You either want him all the way out of your daughter’s life, which if I were you I would pick that, and ask him to sign his parental rights over ( terminate parental rights) at the same time have a name change so that she has your last name and take bio dad off of Child Support all at once. Or he pays child support, doesn’t Grant name change and gets visitation.”

However, another commenter seemed to think a judge would never give rights to the father. “Honestly a judge wouldn’t grant visitation rights to someone who hasn’t made an effort in the past. The judge would see it as creating unnecessary mental instability in the child’s life.”

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