By law, you can petition the court to change a child’s name — and that process itself is not very difficult. What can be more challenging is convincing the court that such a name change is in the best interest of the child.
The “best interest” standard is rather vague, but it does allow judges to more carefully weigh each case individually to make decisions that make sense given the circumstances with which they are presented.
Below are some examples of situations in which the court will more likely than not approve a name change for a child:
In circumstances in which both parents have a relationship with the child and one of the parents opposes the name change, it will likely be difficult to convince the court to allow the name change to proceed. The court still may be willing to allow the name change to happen in a case like this, but it will likely hold a hearing to listen to arguments from each parent and then determine what is in the child’s best interest. Some of the factors the court will consider include:
For further advice on this complex issue, meet with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
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