Laks v. Laks

In Laks v. Laks, 25 Ariz.App. 58, 540 P.2d 1277 (1975), the superior court ordered the mother to reinstate her married surname for her three children. Laks, 25 Ariz.App. at 59, 540 P.2d at 1278. On appeal, this court held that a name change may be permitted when a child's substantial interests require it. Id. at 61, 540 P.2d at 1280. The mother had the burden of proving such a change was in the children's best interests and she failed to meet that burden. Id. Pizziconi concerned a child born out of wedlock and the father's request several years later that the child bear his surname. 177 Ariz. at 424, 868 P.2d at 1007. In finding that a name change was not in the child's best interests, this court identified numerous factors for deciding when a change of name would be in a child's best interests: The child's preference; the effect of the change on the preservation and development of the child's relationship with each parent; the length of time the child has borne a given name; the difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment that the child may experience from bearing the present or proposed name; the motive of the parents and the possibility that the use of a different name will cause insecurity or a lack of identity. Id. at 425, 868 P.2d at 1008.