New Jersey Child Surname Change Attorney
During the course of a divorce parties can anticipate having disagreements over many different issues regarding their children, one such issue is that of the children’s surname. Although a party may choose to change their name back to their maiden name or cease to hyphenate their name, they may not simply change the name of a child.
Stability Is Critical
Stability during and after a divorce is important to a child’s well being and there is no presumption that a child’s name may be changed to the name of the custodial parent in the event the custodial parent changes their name following the divorce. However, if the other parent has abandoned the child prior to the beginning of school, if you will be relocating to a new area with the child and the other parent does not want to be involved in the child’s life or for various other reasons it may be more beneficial to the child to undergo a name change than to be subject to other stigma throughout the remainder of his or her childhood.
How We Can Help You
At The Darling Law Firm, we understand there are some times when a child’s surname should be changed following a divorce. The NJ Supreme Court has determined that decision to change a child’s name will profoundly affect that child’s life. The parent seeking to change the child’s name bears the burden of proving that a name change is within the child’s best interest. Our family law attorneys know what it is a Judge will need to understand in order to obtain a name change. We can also tell you the likelihood of the Judge ordering a name change under your particular circumstances.
What You Will Need to Prove
In Emma v. Evans, the NJ Supreme Court included a list of factors a parent must show when seeking to change the surname of a child after divorce. These factors include:
• The length of time the child has used his or her surname.
• Identification of the child with a particular family unit.
• Potential anxiety, embarrassment, or discomfort that may result from having a different surname from that of the custodial parent.
• The child’s preference if the child is mature enough to express a preference.
• Parental misconduct or neglect, such as failure to provide support or maintain contact with the child.
• Degree of community respect, or lack thereof, associated with either paternal or maternal name.
• Improper motivation on the part of the parent seeking the name change.
• Whether the mother has changed or intends to change her name upon remarriage.
• Whether the child has a strong relationship with any siblings with different names.
• Whether the surname has important ties to family heritage or ethnic identity.
• The effect of a name change on the relationship between the child and each parent.
Your Northern New Jersey Child’s Name Change Attorney
If you wish to change your child’s surname as a consequence of divorce, or are fighting a proposed change, you need an experienced family lawyer at your side. At The Darling Law Firm we have the experience you need to review the facts and circumstances then determine the best way to protect you and your child. We are committed to assisting our clients and regularly participate in continuing education related to various matters pertaining to family law so we are prepared to tackle tough cases for our clients.
In order to serve our clients throughout Northern New Jersey we have offices in Roxbury and Rochelle Park, New Jersey. We serve clients in Morris, Sussex, Bergen, Passaic, Union, Hudson, Essex and Warren Counties. If you are reading this website, now is the time to call 973-584-6200 or click here to e-mail us to protect your rights.
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