The Appellate Group

Bowers v. Burkhart

Bowers v. Burkhart, 2022 UT App 132 (Tenney, J.)

Civil Procedure

Mother and Father divorced a few months before Child was born. Father was not present at the birth, and Mother gave Child her surname. Several months later, Father moved to change Child’s surname to his. The district court granted the motion. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, reasoning:

  • The district court’s analysis that it was in Child’s best interests to change her surname to Father’s surname was based on speculation, and its reasoning created an impermissible presumption in favor of Father because he was the noncustodial parent.

Read the full court opinion