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Main Forums => General Issues => Topic started by: cmw1236 on Sep 28, 2009, 05:28:53 PM

Title: divorce and pregancy
Post by: cmw1236 on Sep 28, 2009, 05:28:53 PM
I'm from florida and I don't know how to find out about this. I'm currently 4 months pregnant. I'm still married from my previous ex, we've been separated for 3yrs now. I need to know if when the kid is born, will I have a choice which last name to give it or will it automatically go to my current last name and he'll have rights over it and it's not even his? my mom says she already looked this up and i have the choice and my boyfriend says its opposite so i need to see this for myself.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: CuriousMom on Sep 28, 2009, 07:42:10 PM
When you fill out the form for the birth certificate in the hospital you select the entire name of your child.  Last name designated is up to you.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: worriedinmd on Sep 28, 2009, 07:44:51 PM
even if it did have the same last name, your ex would have no rights to the child since it is not his. I would choose whichever name is most convenient and comfortable for you. Your ex is not really a concern as it is not his child
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: gemini3 on Sep 29, 2009, 04:02:20 AM

even if it did have the same last name, your ex would have no rights to the child since it is not his. I would choose whichever name is most convenient and comfortable for you. Your ex is not really a concern as it is not his child


You're kidding, right?  She should name the actual father on the birth certificate, and no one else, EVER, regardless of how inconvenient it may be for her.

Being named as the father on a birth certificate has strong legal consequences, and it is not something that should be toyed with.  They ask the mother to name the father because they have no other option of figuring it out right now - not because they want to give her the option of picking whoever she wants.
 
If she names her ex he will be able to get joint custody and visitation.  The real father will have no legal rights to the child.  In order to change this they will all have to go to court and get DNA tests to prove who the real father is.  That is not convenient in any sense of the word. 
 
The child will eventually see it's birth certificate and want to know why this other person is listed as the father.  This is not something that should be manipulated and toyed with.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: ocean on Sep 29, 2009, 05:06:20 AM
You need to look up your state law. You can name the baby whatever you want but the real issue is who will be seen as the "legal father". Some states if you are still married then they are presumed the father. You will probably have to go through paternity testing once the child is born to prove who the father is BUT like I said, you can name it whatever you want. It is very hard to change the name so make sure it is what is best for the child.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: MomofTwo on Sep 29, 2009, 06:07:52 AM
Ocean is right --- in FL there is definitely a presumption that a child born during a marriage that the husband IS the legal father.   Do yourself a huge legal favor, at least consult a local attorney.  While I am sure you can name the child whatever you want , you want to make sure the correct father is named and establish him IMMEDIATELY through DNA testing as the father.  (naming the child does NOT establish paternity).   You have to or you will face a very sticky mess down the road with your divorce and who is responsible for supporting the child.   Not only that, but since you are not married to Dad, he will have no rights to the child.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: Kitty C. on Sep 29, 2009, 12:18:08 PM
From someone who did birth certificates for 5 years in CA:
 
It can differ from state to state, but very little.  But in order to cause fewer legal problems down the road, you MUST name the biological father on the birth certificate.  You don't mention if the separation from your ex is legal (filed with the court) or not, and if FL automatically assumes that whomever you are legally and currently married to at the time of birth is the legal father, then your ex will be considered the father in the eyes of the state.  And if that is the case, not only do you have to list the biological father, but you will need to do the DNA testing to prove it and the father will have to file a paternity petition with the courts.  Or you can choose not to do any of that............just be severely forewarned that it could cause you serious legal ramifications down the road.
 
You can give the baby any last name you want, you can even hyphenate it with your maiden name and the bio-dad's last name....I've seen ones that didn't remotely resemble Mom's OR Dad's, but think long and hard before you do.  This is something the child has to live with for the rest of their lives, so this is not something you can be selfish about.....you have the child AND the bio-dad to think about here, as well. 
 
The birth certificate is a legal document filed with the state.......do the right thing by all the parties involved:  the child, the bio-dad, and your ex.   Technically, it really doesn't make any difference how the state looks at it (as stated in my first paragraph).....if you name the bio-dad on the BC, do the DNA testing, and bio-dad files the paternity petition, you will have sufficiently dotted your i's and crossed your t's legally.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: tigger on Sep 29, 2009, 12:45:45 PM
Not sure if it's still the law or not but 20 years ago in NC you HAD to list your husband as the father on the birth certificate.  I found this out when I had my oldest son.  They asked if I were married at the time of conception.  I told them no and asked what difference it made.  She said that the husband would have to be listed as the father.  That set off red flags because I knew my then husband's former wife had given birth the previous year and she was legally married to him when she conceived even though they had been separated over a year and were divorced shortly afterwards. 

Sure enough, a few months later her parents visited with my ex's parents.  A few weeks later he got a phone call telling him that she had been forced to put him down as the father of her baby and asked if he would be willing to sign papers without a DNA test stating that he wasn't the father so she could have the baby's birth certificate legally changed showing her new husband as the father. 
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: tigger on Sep 29, 2009, 12:52:17 PM
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/planning_eval/vital_statistics/Putative.htm
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: CuriousMom on Sep 29, 2009, 01:38:48 PM
I'm in PA and I just had to do the forms in December when my son was born.  When I was in the labor room the nurse just handed me a folder with forms in and told me to fill it out.  They didn't stop back for it until I was in maternity a day later.  She glanced over the birth certificate form and walked out.  Guess they were pretty lax about it compared to other states. 
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: Kitty C. on Sep 29, 2009, 03:28:56 PM
Holy cow!!!  I guess, CM!!!!!!!  They gave you the forms in a folder while you were still in LABOR??  That's just plain lazy.  I never spoke to any mother until after the birth.  Because of the volume of births my hospital had (anywhere from 20-30 a day on average), I passed out a worksheet that had all the pertinent info they needed to fill out.  While they did that, I got previous BC's signed by the docs and got medical info from the mothers' and babes' charts.  The state of CA required a LOT of medical info on their certs, supposedly for statistical purposes.  Then I went back to each mom, checked to see what they had filled out, did any corrections and answered any questions.

Once I got the official and complimentary (the ones with the footsie prints!) certs. completed, I went back to each mom the next day, had them sign the official and gave them the complimentary.  FUN JOB!!!!!!!  Especially when I could be in the nursery every day!! (http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/grin.gif)

That job was over 16 years ago....and I still miss it!  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to walk down memory lane, CM!
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: CuriousMom on Sep 29, 2009, 07:16:32 PM
LoL - yep!  Hooked me up to the monitors and started an IV, and about 5 minutes later handed me a folder and said they only needed the 3 white forms back - one being the birth cert.
 
Glad I could bring back some great memories for you (http://www.deltabravo.net/forum/Smileys/default/grin.gif).  I would love that job with all those little babies around!
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: mdegol on Sep 29, 2009, 08:59:49 PM
I will tell you, I was in Michigan when I had my first baby, and there is a statement on the birth certificate application that says something like this in bold "Michigan is law is very clear: If you were married at the time of conception you MUST name your husband as the father of the child. If you were married at the time of the birth of the child you MUST name your husband as the father of the child." They even give you a flyer that explains the law, and how to change the name later if the father is actually someone else. In Mass, I am pretty sure that no matter who you name on the birth certificate your husband is presumed to be the father.

And, in Mass, if the husband or wife do not agree to start a paternity suit, the BF cannot file unless he has a significant connection to the child (which can be impossible in some cases as you could imagine). In Michigan it is even more strict, where only a wife or husband can even bring a paternity suit. BF cannot even file. If he does, it just gets thrown out. It has led to crazy (and sad) cases in the state. Even fathers who cared for their children, even one that I read who was the primary custodian for years, were not considered the legal father since the woman was married at the time of birth (and she decided she didn't want him involved anymore, and her husband did not contest for some reason). Even if there is DNA. Doesn't matter there. The supreme court of Michigan ruled that they had to uphold the law (this was in the case where the guy had informal custody for 3 years), but called for it to be changed since it led to such unfairness. So, the point is: the law across states varies a lot, especially in unmarried cases. Even more when the woman is married at the time of birth or conception. I thought about this a little bit, and I believe the original intent of these laws were to protect marriage and did not have much sympathy for men who were committing adultery with another man's wife. It was also to protect the husband, I think, so they could pass a child that resulted from an adulterous relationship off as their own, if they wanted.

In France, a woman can choose whether or not she wants the father to be involved as long as it is prior to the birth. She does not have to name a father at all. I know this because my husband's stepsister did this, and is the only legal parent of her child. I am pretty sure that the BF has no recourse if she decides this.

But I agree that as far as name goes, you can name a child anything (I am sure you heard of the child named "Tula does the hula in Hawaii" or something like that-this was changed by a judge to a name that the child preferred to go by). Personally, I don't even believe that a child should necessarily bear the name of the father. Think about that hard because it will be difficult to change later.
Title: Re: divorce and pregancy
Post by: snowrose on Sep 29, 2009, 10:26:12 PM
Ocean and mdegol are right, check your state laws about claiming paternity.  Some states will let you name anyone.  Some states will require that your current husband be named the father.  And then we've found out recently that in Texas they even require another piece of paperwork beyond the birth certificate.  So it's really important that you check on your state laws.