Orlando, FL asked in Family Law for Florida

Q: Can a child's middle name as shown on his birth certificate be combined with his last name as an effective new last name

Mary Jones marries John Smith but keeps her maiden name. They have a child they name Robert Smith. They give him middle names of Michael and Jones, so his full name as shown on his birth certificate is Robert Michael Jones Smith.

They divorce when the child is one year old and are each awarded 50-50 custody. Mary becomes concerned about potential security and other issues with school and travel because her last name is different from her son's. She would like to legally change the child's last name from Smith to either Jones-Smith or Smith-Jones, so that her last name is included in his name, but she knows the ex-husband would not agree and she'd have to go back to mediation to try to get his agreement.

As an alternative, since Jones is already one of his middle names, can she just use Jones Smith as his last name on school registrations, passport applications, or any other government or legal forms requiring entry of a last name?

All names are fictitious.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I believe she would have to go back to the judge in the dissolution case.

As far as simply using "Jones Smith" as a surname on miscellaneous forms, whether that would be permitted would depend on the rules of the agencies requiring those forms.

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