IN THE MATTER OF: JOBY SEBASTIAN PEDERSON, Petitioner, TO JOBY SEBASTIAN QUANTMEYER,
Submitted Date: October 9, 2017
L. H. Brinton, Esquire Attorney for Meredith Pedersen,
Kevin E. Quantmeyer Pro-Se Petitioner, Petitioner.
FINAL ORDER AND OPINION
K. Welch, Judge.
the Court's Final Order and Opinion in the
above-captioned matter following the hearing that took place
on Monday, October 9, 2017. Following the conclusion and
receipt of testimony and evidence, the Court reserved
Quantmeyer ("Petitioner") has filed a Name Change
Petition with the Civil Clerk of the Court. Petitioner is
seeking to change the name of his son Joby Sebastian
Pedersen, his minor child, who he shares custody with
respondent to reflect the last name "Quantmeyer" in
lieu of "Pedersen, " the respondent's last
name. Petitioner asserts in his Petition under paragraph 4
that the reasons for the proposed name change is the
mother's surname may change with marriage and desire for
father and son to have the same surname. In accordance with
the requirements of Civil Rule 81(c) and 10 Del.C. $5901
Petitioner certifies he has no creditors, or other persons
who would be defrauded or adversely affected by the proposed
name change. The Petition was published under paragraph 6 in
the News Journal for three (3) consecutive weeks. Petitioner
also asserts that he has no pending criminal charges; is not
on probation and parole; and finally under paragraph 9 that
he is not currently required to register with the State
Police or any law enforcement agency.
issue to be decided by this Court is whether petitioner has
proven by a preponderance of the evidence at trial that it
would be in the best interest of his child Joby to have his
last name changed to Quantmeyer.
reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the best
interest and welfare of the child would be to deny the
petition and petitioner has not proven his case-in-chief by a
preponderance of the evidence.
Court received sworn testimony and evidence at the hearing.
Before counsel and the prose petitioner testified,
the Court detailed in the record the preponderance of
evidence standard and the relevant ten (10) factors that may
to be considered by the Court following sworn testimony and
evidence as to whether the best interest standard has, or has
not, been proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
Quantmeyer offered evidence to the Court. He is making child
support payments as mandated by the Court. He lives in
Maryland, not Pennsylvania and travels to Delaware to see his
minor child Joby. Petitioner testified any time Ms. Pedersen
needs medical help or appointments he "shows up"
and believes that having his child's last name as
Quantmeyer should be granted because as a male they would
share his last name. Petitioner believes that he would be
better bonded with the child Joby if the petition was granted
and would even compromise to allow the Court to have the name
bi-furcated. Petitioner testified he has made several email
requests to respondent and that she has failed to respond to
his request to have the last name changed. Petitioner
testified he paid child support before the Order of the Court
and began sending money for the child's diapers before
any formal Court Order was made in Family Court for child
support. His child is now two and a half years and he desires
to have Joby bear his last name. Petitioner has visitations
with his son, which include weekends and he regularly pays
child support. Petitioner believes that no one within his
family believes Joby is his son because Joby does not bear
the last name of his father, but bears the last name of his
cross-examination four (4) different exhibits were offered
into evidence by respondent.
further cross-examination petitioner admits that the
photograph on Facebook was a picture of a Quantmeyer jersey
on his son.
cross-examination petitioner testified he refers to his son
as Sebastian, not Joby, his actual name. On further
cross-examination, Exhibit 3 was a scrapbook picture offered
into evidence from Petitioner's Facebook page indicating
Joby's name was Sebastian. Petitioner also conceded that
he has a history of mental illness and was treated for severe
depression previously. He has sought all necessary treatment
and responded fully. Petitioner also conceded he has a
history of speeding tickets.
respondent presented her case-in-chief. Respondent resides at
417 Marconi Drive in Wilmington, 19803. Respondent works full
time and has a bachelor's degree in Architecture and is
not engaged or married, nor is she planning to change
Joby's name, even if she is married or engaged, which she
indicated she is not contemplating. Joby's last name has
been Pedersen his entire life. Petitioner has custody every
other weekend and Fridays in the summer. Petitioner did not
pay child support the first year and she told him to
recalculate his payments based upon the support
calculation. The $200.00 petitioner pays the respondent
is sometimes late. Respondent never knew "whether or not
it was coming" and that the child support calculation by
BSE should be much higher. Respondent testified she had a two
and a half month relationship with the Petitioner and he had
told her about his suicide attempts and allegedly followed
her . around on his bike allegedly crying, which she believes
details his mental health issues. Respondent claims the child
support order was entered years ago and at that time
petitioner did not ask for Joby's name to be changed to
Quantmeyer. Respondent also carries medical benefits for Joby
and has signed him up for daycare. Respondent schedules all
Joby's doctor appointments.
to respondent, petitioner did not show up for multiple doctor
appointments. Respondent disagrees that petitioner's
granting of the name change to Quantmeyer would not prohibit
petitioner from bonding with his son. Respondent further
testified that she is unaware that anyone calls Joby by the
name of Sebastian, as his name is Joby. Respondent is
adamantly opposed the Name Change petition being granted by
Sec. 5901. Petition for change of name.
(a) Any person who desires to change his or her name, shall
present a petition, duly verified, to the Court of Common
Pleas sitting in the county in which the person resides. The
petition shall set forth such person's name and the name
he or she desires to assume.
Sec. 5902. Requirements for minor's
If the name sought to be changed under this chapter is that
of a minor, the petition shall be signed by at least one of
the minor's parents, if there is a parent living, or if
both parents are dead, by the legal guardian of such minor.
When the minor is over the age of 14, the petition shall also
be signed by the minor.
Sec. 5903. Publication of petition prior to
No petition for change of name under this chapter shall be
granted unless it affirmatively appears that the petition has
been published in a newspaper published in the county in
which the proceedings is had, at least ...