Stamford, CT asked in Family Law and Probate for Connecticut

Q: what are father's rights in CT? Is this likely to be filed as petition in probate court? in Bridgeport?

CT divorced, non-custodial father w/ 2.5 year divorce decree in effect (which does not address this issue or anything proximate to it, yet does explicitly details visitation agreement/schedule and joint legal custody). all children reside with ex-wife and new husband. ex wants to allow twin minor (14 years old ) daughters (mutual natural children) to petition (thru her in probate court, I assume - will be filed next week) surname change.

btw, the minor daughters wish to use their mother's (the ex-wife's) maiden name (not her newly remarried surname she currently uses) additionally the co-resident 15 year son (other mutual natural child) does not wish to change his surname from the father's.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nicole M. Camporeale
Nicole M. Camporeale
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Newtown, CT
  • Licensed in Connecticut

A: If your ex-wife is '"assisting" your minor daughters with petitioning the local probate court to change their last names, she would have to prove, beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that the name change is in the child's best interest. Technically they would need to apply for the change of name through a "friend" which could be your ex-wife. Since she is not necessarily disinterested in this particular situation, the court may appoint a guardian ad-litem to ensure the child's best interests are heard and are impartial. The judge will use this "best interest" standard to determine whether or not to grand the change of name request. You are required to be on notice that this petition is being filed and should attend the hearing and make your views known. You have the option of hiring an attorney to represent your interests.

If the judge sees this is very contentious, he/she may even push this back to the court that presided over your divorce decree. From cases I've seen, this can go both ways.

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