State Supreme Court Ruled Unanimously Monday

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A divorced New Jersey woman will have to go back to court if she wants to change her children’s names.

That’s the order from the state’s Supreme Court in an opinion issued Monday.

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After her divorce from Paul Emma in 2010, Jessica Evans changed their two children’s last names on school and health insurance forms from Emma to Evans-Emma. She then sought to have their last names changed to just Evans.

A trial judge granted her request, but it was later overturned by an appeals court.

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The Supreme Court said the trial judge erred in giving Evans the benefit of the doubt because she is the custodial parent. Instead, the court’s unanimous ruling gives her the burden of proof of showing that the name change is in the children’s best interests.

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