Is It True in Order to Have Your Childs Last Name Changed?

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Is it true in order to have your childs last name changed, the other parent has to be served? Im from California, I have full sole/physical custody of my son. Is it really difficult to change his last name even though I have full custody?

My son was 13 when I changed his last name. He hadn’t seen his father in 5 years by that point. We filed the paperwork, and my son even asked to change his middle name. I was actually fine with it because his dad picked it and I always hated it (I got to pick his first name). Anyway, so I filed the paperwork, and I had to notify my ex. And, of course, he never responded. So we show up to court at 9am, the judge hears the case, grants it, and we leave. In the 30 minutes it takes me to get home, I get a call from the court - my ex (the POS who literally moved to another state more than 12 hours away in order to avoid having to pay child support) is there and he “has a right to be heard”. Which meant that I had to go all the way back to court (and I’m missing work for this). At that point, he tells the judge that he misses his son and that his son wouldn’t want to change his name if he had a relationship with him (the only reason he doesn’t, is because of my ex). Long story short, my ex then feeds the bs line that he just wants to hear it from my son. Judge adjourns for a month out so my son can call or text my ex to tell him why. I have him do it that night, to get it over with. Send the screenshots to the judge and go to court a month later. Where I was accused of texting my ex instead of my son because my teenage son didn’t call him “daddy”. The judge didn’t buy it and, again, ruled in my favor. Then told my ex to use that as a wake up call to build and have a relationship with his son. It’s been over a year. I received one threatening text from my ex at the beginning of April that if I didn’t let him talk to my son that he’d call the cops on me. That’s the only time my ex messaged since the judgement.

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They have two children, and I have no children. We live in the same state. It would be very risky to move to different states. How will you tell them? And in a different country. One of them lives in the US, and the other lives in Canada. Neither of us want to move if I can help it, but I guess if the wife wants to and the husband doesn't... A lot of couples have children together, and don't know the whereabouts of the other parent. As if you won't be at a loss to see if you are one of the parents. I will let it be known that I am a divorced mother in a relationship (with a different ethnicity) and am I considering the move. I have not seen my children in over a year, so I think this is the only way I will.