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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN NAME CHANGE LAW




June 01, 2011

Name Change Petition For A Minor Under Colorado Law: The Legal Standards And Notice Requirements


          The Courts in Colorado have consistently ruled that the noncustodial parent of a minor child has the right to have their position presented to the court regarding a petition to change the name of a minor child, and that they are entitled to notice when a name change petition is filed. See, Hamman v. County Court, 753 P.2d 743 (Colo. 1988).  However,  the noncustodial parent does not necessarily have the power to prevent a name change merely by making known his or her objections. Id.

          Petitions for name changes of minors must include specific information, which is set forth in Section 13-15-101 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.  Specifically, Petition for name changes of persons under 19 years of age must contain the following:

(III) If the petitioner is under nineteen years of age, the petition shall also include the caption of any proceeding in which a court has ordered child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time regarding the petitioner.

(a.5) If the petitioner is under nineteen years of age and is the subject of an action concerning child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time, then the petition for name change shall be filed in the court having jurisdiction over the action concerning child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting time.


          In adjudicating a name change petition for a child, the Court is required to consider the child’s best interests.  In a case entitled S.F.E. in the interest of T.I.E., 981 P.2nd 642, the Colorado Court of Appeals summarized the applicable standard as follows:

In considering a request for a name change, the court should consider the length of time the child has used the surname, the potential impact of the requested name change on the child's relationship with each parent, the child's preference, and any misconduct by a parent which would justify a name change.

RECENT BLOG POSTS

06/01/2011
Name Change Petition For A Minor Under Colorado Law: The Legal Standards And Notice Requirements