from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L.
appeals from a decree establishing custody, visitation,
support, and surname.
M. Olson, Sioux City, for appellant.
Elizabeth A. Rosenbaum, Sioux City, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
Kollbaum and Feyd Blevins are the never-married parents of
B.A.B., who was born in 2015. In July 2016, Kollbaum filed a
petition to establish custody, visitation, and support. In an
amended petition filed more than one year after the original
petition, Kollbaum also requested a determination of the
child's surname. The parties stipulated to the resolution
of all issues except the determination of the child's
surname. Following trial on that issue, the district decreed
the child should have the surname of his father. Blevins
timely filed this appeal.
review surname determinations de novo. See Iowa R.
App. P. 6.907; Montgomery v. Wells, 708 N.W.2d 704,
705 (Iowa Ct. App. 2005). We give weight to the district
court's factual findings but are not bound by them.
See Montgomery, 708 N.W.2d at 706.
the court first entertains an action between the parents to
determine their legal rights and relationships with each
other and the child, the court may also consider the
legitimacy of the child's original naming as part of its
determination of the child's legal status and custody.
Id. When making a determination, "the
presumption that a child bear the surname of [a] father is
outdated and therefore rejected." In re Marriage of
Gulsvig, 498 N.W.2d 725, 729 (Iowa 1993). Conversely, a
"mother does not have the absolute right to name the
child because of custody at birth." Id. Where,
as here, a parent unilaterally names the child, there is no
presumption the given name should hold when challenged by the
other parent in an initial determination proceeding. See
id. "[N]either parent has a superior right in
determining the child's last name," and our primary
consideration is the best interest of the child. See
Montgomery, 708 N.W.2d at 707-08.
case law has identified twelve nonexclusive factors to be
considered when making an initial surname determination.
See id. at 708-09. Those factors are:
(1) Convenience for the child to have the same name as or a
different name from the custodial parent.
(2)Identification of the child as part of a family unit.
(3) Assurances by the mother that she would not change her
name if she married or remarried if the child maintains ...