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  1. #1
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    Default Can a Parent Get a Court Order to Change a Child's Middle Name

    My question involves name change laws in the State of: Arkansas

    My baby's biological father and I are unwed and have never been married. Before our son was born we had discussed several options for names and one was Thomas because that's his grandfathers name. However, I chose to name him something different. He has filed a petition to establish paternity and as part of the petition for custody is requesting the courts force me to change the baby's middle name to Thomas? Is this a real thing? Can I be forced to change his middle name??

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Court Order to Change Middle Name

    Quote Quoting Megcole2002
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    My question involves name change laws in the State of: Arkansas

    My baby's biological father and I are unwed and have never been married. Before our son was born we had discussed several options for names and one was Thomas because that's his grandfathers name. However, I chose to name him something different. He has filed a petition to establish paternity and as part of the petition for custody is requesting the courts force me to change the baby's middle name to Thomas? Is this a real thing? Can I be forced to change his middle name??
    Can the child's name be changed? Yes, the court can order that.

    Will it? We cannot say.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Court Order to Change Middle Name

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Can the child's name be changed? Yes, the court can order that.

    Will it? We cannot say.
    So they can legally force me to change my child's middle name? That seriously blows my mind.

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    Default Re: Court Order to Change Middle Name

    Quote Quoting Megcole2002
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    So they can legally force me to change my child's middle name? That seriously blows my mind.
    Unless there's something pretty remarkable about how the child was conceived, your child is also the father's child.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Court Order to Change Middle Name

    Of course he is, so the last name change is fine. However, I don't understand why his grandfathers name would be more important than a name deriving from my family as I am equally a parent.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Court Order to Change Middle Name

    You have the right to argue in court that the child's middle name should not be changed.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a Parent Get a Court Order to Change a Child's Middle Name

    Quote Quoting Megcole2002
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    My question involves name change laws in the State of: Arkansas

    My baby's biological father and I are unwed and have never been married. Before our son was born we had discussed several options for names and one was Thomas because that's his grandfathers name. However, I chose to name him something different. He has filed a petition to establish paternity and as part of the petition for custody is requesting the courts force me to change the baby's middle name to Thomas? Is this a real thing? Can I be forced to change his middle name??
    While its technically possible for a judge to order that a child's middle name be changed, I have never seen it done or heard of any specific case where it was done.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a Parent Get a Court Order to Change a Child's Middle Name

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    While its technically possible for a judge to order that a child's middle name be changed, I have never seen it done or heard of any specific case where it was done.
    That's probably because you wouldn't hear about it. C'mon now.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can a Parent Get a Court Order to Change a Child's Middle Name

    Such cases are rarely reported; but there's actually authority in Arkansas defining the legal standard for the court:
    Quote Quoting Poindexter v. Poindexter, 360 Ark. 538, 203 S.W.3d 84, 86-87 (2005).
    [I]n cases involving disputes over a child's first name or middle name, the circuit court, in determining the child's best interest, should consider at least the following factors:

    (1) the child's preference; (2) the effect of the change of the child's name on the preservation and development of the child's relationship with each parent; (3) the length of time the child has borne a given name; (4) the degree of community respect associated with the present and proposed names; (5) the difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment that the child may experience from bearing the present or proposed name; and (6) the existence of any parental misconduct or neglect.
    Although the child in Poindexter was just shy of six months old when the name change request was submitted to the court, with the best interest findings required for a child of any age, most of those factors will have little relevance to an infant.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can a Parent Get a Court Order to Change a Child's Middle Name

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Such cases are rarely reported; but there's actually authority in Arkansas defining the legal standard for the court:

    Although the child in Poindexter was just shy of six months old when the name change request was submitted to the court, with the best interest findings required for a child of any age, most of those factors will have little relevance to an infant.
    Thank you all so much for your insight

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