Remarried Woman's Request That Children Be Named After New Husband
Petitioner asserts in her Petition that she is remarried and would like to have her children the "carry the last name as the rest of her family and her new husband."
The children's father, , ("Respondent") opposes the Name Change Petition on the basis he believes the granting of the Petition would further alienate him from the relationship with his children, as it exists today.
The issue to be decided by this Court is whether petitioner has proven by a preponderance of evidence that it would be in the best interest of both children to have their name changed.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the best interest and welfare of the children require this Court to deny the Petition.
Petitioner asserts that the reason for the instant name change is that she has "recently remarried and would like her children to carry the same last name as the rest of the family."
Petitioner also asserts as the second basis for the granting of the Name Change Petition that the respondent "refuses to have a relationship with his children.
Petitioner and respondent were previously married and now are divorced.
Paternity is not an issue. Petitioner has sole custody of both children and respondent has visitation rights pursuant to an Order of the Family Court.
Both petitioner and respondent appeared and testified at trial. Petitioner testified that the respondent does not visit the children.
the minor child, has cerebral palsy and the respondent, according to petitioner, rarely sees both children.
On occasion, petitioner "e-mails the respondent," but he fails to respond to her request to contact her.
On occasion, petitioner has also had the respondent arrested when he appears to visit the children.
The respondent is very reluctant to appear at petitioner's residence for this reason.
Petitioner has remarried and is asking the Court to change both minor children's last name.
At trial, petitioner testified she believes the respondent "is not a role model for her children." Petitioner admits she called the police when the respondent was visiting the children.
The respondent testified that he believes the Petition is simply asserted to further alienate his existing relationship with his two children.
The respondent also believes the granting of the Petition is not in the best interests of the children.
In the instant case, the record indicates the petitioner is remarried and desires her two children be named after her new husband.
The Court has a very limited record in this proceeding. Looking very closely at the record and the factors listed above, the Court finds that the two minor children have used X since their birth.
The proposed name change would reflect the petitioner's new husband's name, not their natural father or mother's maiden name.
The two children are young and did not testify at the hearing as to their preference for a last name. the proposed name would not accurately reflect their father's name.
There is no evidence that the children are experiencing difficulties, harassment or embarrassment with their father's name.
While the granting of the Petition would reflect the custodial parent's last name, it would not reflect the children's heritage or father's name.
Conclusions of Law
It would not be in the best interest of the minor children to grant the instant Petition.
Opinion and Order
The Court finds that petitioner has failed to prove the instant Name Change Petition would be in the children's best interest by a preponderance of the evidence based upon the above factual and legal analysis. the Court therefore DENIES the instant Name Change Petition. Costs are to be born by petitioner.