Category: Child’s Name

The best interest of the child standard should govern the court’s decision to change a sixteen-year-old transgender child’s name

A plenary hearing is particularly important when the submissions show there is a genuine and substantial factual dispute regarding the welfare of children

If two parents are involved in a dispute over a child’s name, the court must consider the best interests of the child

Where the parents dispute the naming of a child, even if they had previously agreed on the name, courts must determine what is in the best interests of the child

The standard for changing a surname applies whether the child is born in or out of wedlock

In implementing the best-interest-of-the-child standard, courts rely heavily on the expertise of psychologists and other mental health professionals

Name-change disputes when the child was born in wedlock to parents who subsequently divorce

Where both parents have custody of a child, are both available, and disagree on the selection of a surname, the child shall be given a hyphenated surname based on alphabetical order

There is a strong presumption in favor of the surname chosen by the custodial parent

The non-custodial parent bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of evidence that the presumption in favor of the primary caretaker’s choice of name is not in the child’s best interest