What is the standard the Court looks at when deciding whether to change the child’s name?

The Court must look at whether the name change is in the best interests of the child. A.R.S. § 12-601(B). To aid in that, the Arizona Court of Appeals has come up with five factors known as the Pizziconi factors. They are as follows: 

  1. The child’s preference
  2. The effect a name change would have on preserving and developing the relationship with each parent 
  3. The length of time the child has borne a given name 
  4. The difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment that the child may experience from bearing the present or proposed name 
  5. The motive of the parents and the possibility that the use of a different name will cause insecurity or a lack of identity 

The Court must also consider certain items under A.R.S. § 12-601(C), which are aimed at ensuring the name change is not being filed for a fraudulent purpose (and, honestly, are more geared for adults who want to change their name). These elements include whether the person requesting the change has a felony background or is facing felony charges for making a false statement or false identification.  

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