Can I Change My Child’s Name?

If a parent or guardian is requesting that the Court change the name of a minor child over the objection of one or both parents, the Court must make that determination using the same standard that it uses to determine parental rights, which is the best interests standard.

This typically means that the petitioning parent or guardian must show by substantial and competent evidence that it is in the best interest of the child (necessary for the child’s welfare).

mere allegations or allegations of the parents wishes that the child carry on a name is insignificant to court and will not be enough to establish it is required for the court to change the name of the child to meet the child’s best interests.

For more information call for a free consultation. 239-208-2203.

The Law office of Mary A. Cosmo

Free Consultation and Payment Plans Accepted


Office in Ft. Myers, Florida and Labelle, Florida

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Outcome or results are not guaranteed. The information presented on this website is for advertising purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. An attorney-client relationship will not be established until we have confirmed our representation of your case in writing.

Does joint custody affect child support in Florida?

Yes. Child Support calculations use several factors, which include the combined income of both parties (minus tax deductions), the number of children the parties have together, child care and health insurance costs, and the amount of overnights you spend with your child(ren).

The premise is that if you are spending at least 50 percent of the over nights with your child, then you are spending your funds to care, house, cloth, and feed you child.

What if you do not get 50 percent of the overnights?
If you have your child at least 20 percent of the overnights, then you will get a reduction in the amount of child support based on the amount of overnights you actually care, house, cloth, and feed you child.

If you would like more information on child support and how it would be determined based on your individual situation, call my office and set an appointment for a free consultation. 239-208-2203.

Can I Amend (fix) my Petition or Complaint?


Question: Oh NO!  I failed to allege a fact or request a specific result in my Petition, can I fix it after it is filed???

Short Answer: Maybe.

If you made a mistake or did not fill out your Complaint or Petition correctly, you may be able to fix it before it is too late.  For example, in certain instances you are required to plead (make a statement in your initial Complaint or Petition) certain allegations if you want a specific result.  If you are unsure of the result you want, you may not get the result you need if it was never pled (alleged) in your Complaint or Petition.  The good news is, if you have already filed a Petition or Complaint, the Court may allow you to amend your Complaint or Petition.  Depending on when you have filed, if there has been an Answer filed, or if your matter is set for a trial.  The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.190 (a) is the Rule that allows for Amendments.

Longer Answer:  The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.190 (a) governs Amending your Complaint or Petition.

“A party may amend a pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, if the pleading is one to which no responsive pleading is permitted and the action has not been placed on the trial calendar, may so amend it at any time within 20 days after it is served. Otherwise a party may amend a pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party. If a party files a motion to amend a pleading, the party shall attach the proposed amended pleading to the motion. Leave of court shall be given freely when justice so requires. A party shall plead in response to an amended pleading within 1 0 days after service of the amended pleading unless the court otherwise orders.”

The Court is the judiciary where parties go to (hopefully) end their personal disputes.  The Court is the neutral ground, which makes its determination based on the allegations and evidence presented in each case.   Do not leave out critical allegations or certain requests in your initial Petition or Complaint.  If you realize you need to fix your Complaint, or if you are faced with a Motion to Dismiss, you can “ask” the Court through a “Motion for Leave of Court to Amend.”

If you do not understand your rights or what allegation you should allege, please seek the advice of an attorney who can help you with your matter.