Sometimes parents disagree about whose surname a child should have. Texas family law allows a court to order a name change for a child if the change is in the child’s best interest. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 45.004. Additionally, when a court adjudicates parentage, it may order a name change if a parent requests it and “for good cause shown.” Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 160.636. Some appeals courts have held that those are two distinct tests, while others have held that the child’s best interest is necessarily good cause and simply determine if the change would be in the child’s best interest even when the name change is requested pursuant to § 160.636.
A mother recently appealed a court order changing her son’s surname to that of his father.