By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A mother seeking to change the name of her child to match that of her new husband failed to prove the change would be in the child’s best interest, Wyoming’s Supreme Court has ruled.
The court upheld the ruling of a district court in Campbell County against the attempts of Corrie Lynn Lamb to change the name of her child, identified only as SGN, over the objections of her ex-husband, Noah Newman.
According to the ruling, Lamb and Newman had a child while married, but divorced about one year after the child’s birth.
In March 2021, Lamb, then living in Gillette, asked a court to change her child’s name because the child was starting school in August and the mother wanted the child to share her new surname and the surname of the child’s half-sister.
Newman, a Rock Springs resident, objected and an “unreported hearing” on the request was held in May 2021. The district court ruled against the name change and Lamb appealed.
The Supreme Court’s opinion, written by Justice Kari Gray, rejected Lamb’s arguments that the lower court abused its discretion by denying the name change.
The opinion said the state district court conducted a very thorough review of whether the child’s best interest would be served with a name change and made its decision accordingly.
“The court employed an eight-factor test … and determined that a name change would not be in SGN’s best interest,” the ruling said. “The court went on to consider whether the name change would be detrimental to the interest of any other person, specifically the father. It found father presented evidence that changing SGN’s name would be detrimental to his interest.
“In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the district court’s decision to deny the name change was not an abuse of discretion,” it added.