In a proceeding before Judge James D’Auguste in the Civil Court of New York County, an application was made by the mother of a fifteen year old boy to change her son’s surname to that of his stepfather. The mother had two younger children with the stepfather and sought to have all three children have the same last name.
Biological Father in Jail
The biological father of the fifteen year old was in jail. He submitted objections to the changing of the son’s name from prison. Judge James D’Auguste stated his analysis of the situation took into consideration the child’s everyday well being, his current relationship with his present family, his school, and the rest of society.
The proceeding brought by the mother showed the biological father’s only contact with his son was one letter per year. This was pursuant to an Order of the Family Court. In addition, Judge D’Auguste found that no child support was being paid by the biological father. Virtually all of the responsibilities a father could have for his child were being carried out by the stepfather. In this case, the judge found the stepfather was the predominant father figure in this boy’s life. In addition, the fifteen year old took the position that he was finding difficulties in his life utilizing his stepfather’s surname. He strongly supported the application that his surname be changed to that of his two younger siblings.
Judge D’Auguste, after considering all the factors, reached the decision allowing the change of the child’s surname to that of the stepfather.