The mother of the minor child filed a petition to change the minor’s legal last name.  From that of the child’s father (an inmate in Department of Corrections) to that of the minor’s stepfather.

The Trial Court denied the mother’s petition.  She appealed.

The Appellate Court found that the Trial Court had erred.  The Trial Court had found that mother failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that the name change was necessary to serve the best interests of the minor.

The minor’s father had broken in to mother’s apartment after they ended their dating relationship.   He had held the mother hostage there, at gunpoint. 

The child, then age 3 1/2, was present during the incident. Nearly all of the evidence presented at the hearing supported granting the petition.    All of the statutory factors weighed in favor of granting the petition.   The name change was necessary to serve the minor’s best interest.

In re M.E., 2019 IL App (3d) 170759 (June 6, 2019).