Under Texas family law, a court may order a child’s name be changed if doing so is in the child’s best interest. Neither parent is specifically granted the right to name the child under Texas law, but generally a child’s name will not be changed unless the party seeking the change shows a good reason for it. In a recent case, a mother challenged a court’s order to change the child’s name to include the father’s last name.
The parties appeared to have a good co-parenting relationship. According to the appeals court’s opinion, the child lived with the mother, but the father had always been a part of his life and assisted financially with his living expenses. The father’s family was also significantly involved in the child’s life, helping the mother financially and with child care.
The mother had been adopted as a young child. She grew up in Virginia and moved to Texas when she was 18. She did not have any family other than her son in Texas. Due to the distance, the child did not have the same amount of interaction with his mother’s family that he had with his father’s family.