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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    18

    Default Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    I am from Connecticut.
    I am married 3 years this August to my wife who has an 8 year old daughter from a prior relationship (no marriage involved). Have basically raised her since she was 2 so I consider her my daughter naturally.
    My wife and I share a son (1 year old) together.

    Our son has my last name, my wife has my last name, but my wife's daughter has my wife's maiden name.

    My wife's daughter's bio father has joint physical & joint legal custody w/ mother at present. The bio father now wants to change daughter name to his last name (he is not on birth certificate).

    Since he brings this issue up now and has refused int he past to allow name change to my last name...I suppose I may just try to file motion to change to my last name (on the grounds listed below). I mean why not, right? If anything, daughter should keep the mother maiden name which is what she has had all her life up until this point...after being asked she wants to either; keep her current name with no change, OR, get the same name as her brother (which is my last name). tricky situation....

    Best interests would in my opinion indicate that daughter should have my last name so that she has same last name as her mother and more importantly sibling, her brother. Anyone else offer insight as to what possible remedies for this type of scenario might be please?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Your wife can bring her own petition for a name change with the same court. The biological father can't complain that changing the child's name, of itself, is inappropriate as he wants to do the same thing. That would leave it to the court to decide what is in the child's best interest - no name change, bio dad's name, or mom's current surname. Without knowing any of the other facts, all else assumed to be equal, I would say mom has the best shot of prevailing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    18

    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Thank you very very much. This is exactly the sort of guidance or tip in the right direction that I required. Very thankful. One final question of you...

    The bio father hasn't actually made a motion with the court to change her name as of yet, however he is constantly asking mother in emails if she will oblige to the change. Should mother just go ahead and beat him to court with her own motion to change daughters surname or let it be until father perhaps files his own motion?
    Also By the way, Bio father did at one point agree to a hyphenated version to include his surname-my surname....daughter wasnt hot about it when asked and quite frankly think it is kind of silly. any thoughts on the hyphenation and how courts perceive that whole idea?

    I realize there is fathers ego involved here...but more importantly daughter's life we're talking about...I think she and her brother should have same surname...when her mother, father and I are all dead and buried they will only have each other and they deserve to share the same name...I am no judge but thats my 2 cents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Has the child's position changed - has she warmed to the idea of hyphenation?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    18

    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Hi Aaron- No, the child is not at all liking the idea of hyphenation.

    The child when literally asked last night in confidence by her mother what she would like to do with the name thing was; if she could have the same name as her brother. So the child wants clearly the same last name as her brother.

    The children are born from same mother, but does the court look at the half brother thing? I mean does that really hold any weight...because the bio father is suggesting that he is just her half brother etc.

    By the way, the bio father has no other children and is not married. In case that all matters. Nor was he ever married to child's mother.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    How will a judge react to this? The best interest standard gives judges lots of room to apply their personal beliefs, so it is likely to depend in no small part on how the judge perceives this type of motion. A local lawyer may be able to give you some insight into the judge, but I cannot. You apparently aren't going to be able to come to an agreement, and it isn't unreasonable to change the child's name from a surname that nobody wants.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    18

    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Knowitall, thank you for reply.

    So, point blank...you are me, what is the likelihood of getting childs surname changed to that of her brother and mother should WE attempt to file a motion for change of name? As opposed to a change in surname to that of her bio father? In your opinion/experience...forgetting the local judge factor.

    Keep in mind,parents were never married, and in all 8 years of childs life, child has never retained surname of bio father. Because to me that should be heavily weighted AGAINST bio father, no? I mean dude, you took 8 years to "wake up" and realize, hmmm, I think today I'll start bothering everybody to change kid's name to mine..um your like 8 years too late in my opinion. Ludicrous. Oh and please dont worry, I am not forgetting to mention any important key factors in all of my explanation. It is pretty cut and dry...meaning its not like mother hid the child from him or anything, he knew full well whereabouts all along ...he just never became interested until he noticed that I was int he picture...then all of the sudden he is Mr. about town. Sounds cliche, and sorry for that, but it is the real truth here in this case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    If it were me, I would try to determine the child's honest wishes and defer to the child. Children often will tell a parent or authority figure what they believe the adult wants to hear. I suspect that you are correct in your impression that she wants to share the same surname as the rest of the family. If that's the case, I would proceed with a name change motion. There is little reason for the child to keep a surname that nobody else in the family shares.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Name Change for a Child in Connecticut

    Thanks Aaron. I believe thats what we'll do.

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