Change of name; authority of district court.
The district court shall have authority to change the names of persons, towns, villages and cities within this state.
Source:Laws 1871, p. 62; R.S.1913, § 5315; C.S.1922, § 4608; C.S.1929, § 61-101; R.S.1943, § 61-101; R.S.1943, (1996), § 61-101.
Whether a minor child's surname may be changed depends on, and is determined by, the best interests of the child. Factors to be considered are (1) the misconduct by one of the child's parents, (2) a parent's failure to support the child, (3) parental failure to maintain contact with the child, (4) the length of time that a surname has been used for or by the child, and (5) whether the child's surname is different from the surname of the child's custodial parent. Additionally, a court may consider the child's reasonable preference for a surname; the effect of the name change on the child's relationship with each parent; community respect associated with the surname; the difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment associated with either the present or proposed surname; and the identification of the child as part of the family unit. In re Change of Name of Andrews, 235 Neb. 170, 454 N.W.2d 488 (1990).
Change of name of minor child granted only when the substantial welfare of the child requires the change. Spatz v. Spatz, 199 Neb. 332, 258 N.W.2d 814 (1977).
Decree is not a matter of right, but of judicial discretion, and evidence must be produced that there is sufficient and reasonable cause for change of name. In re Taminosian, 97 Neb. 514, 150 N.W. 824 (1915).