Five days after Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their baby girl,
the new arrival's name has been revealed. And it's likely to surprise
the couple's fans. The reality star and the rapper named their daughter
North West. In most states, you may give your child any first, middle,
and last name you like. Whether you are married or not, you don’t
have to give the baby the last name of either parent if you don’t
want to, and the child does not have to have the father’s last name
to be considered “legitimate.”
In Indiana, the natural father of a child born out-of-wedlock enjoys no
rights regarding child's name until his paternity has been established
in the eyes of the law. It is only once paternity is established and both
mother and father potentially enjoy equal legal rights as parents that
both mother and father will have equal rights in naming of child.
So what would happen if Kim and Kanye break up? Or if Kanye is not the
biological father? This presents an interesting question… can Kanye
take away his last name or can Kim rename the baby a Kardashian?
In an Indiana case in 1995, the Courts found that where one legal parent
contests petition filed by the other to change name of their minor child
and paternity has already been established, trial court must determine
whether name change is in child's best interest; beyond insuring child's
continued welfare, this inquiry guarantees both parents equal opportunity
to assert their legal rights in regard to naming of their child.
So in conclusion, it depends. If Kanye is not North’s biological
father and Kim wishes to have the baby have the same last name as hers,
it seems likely that the Courts would find that that is in the baby’s
best interest. However, if they break-up, but paternity is established,
it would be unlikely that either could change North West’s name.
Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C
., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to
assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding
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