In New Jersey as in other states discussing children and parenting legal issues, the tradition of a child taking his or her father’s last name was once the standard. In recent years, however, the courts have set a new standard for names, this one is based on what the best interests of the child might be. The court is quite firm that this standard has no relationship to gender-based traditions: that is, it’s not automatic that children should carry their father’s name, if it can be shown that this isn’t in the child’s best interest.
When might it be in the best interest of the child to change names? The Superior Court has listed 4 key factors to be considered in applying this best-interests standard: Read more