Most Texas divorces address property division and custody and visitation issues, where there are children. In some cases, however, there are more unusual issues that must be addressed. In one recent case, a father challenged a court’s order allowing the mother to change the children’s last name from their father’s name to their mother’s maiden name.
The parents had two children together. The father is currently serving a life sentence without parole for an offense that occurred when his children were one and three years old. The mother petitioned for divorce. She requested to be appointed sole managing conservator, to change the children’s name, and to keep the father from having contact with the children.
The mother testified that the father’s family did not help after he was incarcerated. She thought contact with the father would threaten the kids’ emotional welfare. She testified that the father was a former gang member and she was afraid of him. She argued that keeping their father’s name “would be a source of anxiety, embarrassment, inconvenience or disruption” to the kids.