RE: IN THE MATTER OF TRAVIS SCHEIBE KUBEC TO TRAVIS DAWSON SCHEIBE-KUBEC
Submitted: June 18, 2018
H. Yeager, Esq. Wilmington, DE 19806 Counsel for Petitioner
Natalie L. Scheibe
A. Kubec 306 Decalb Avenue Wilmington, DE 19804 Respondent
ORDER AND DECISION ON PETITION FOR NAME CHANGE FOR
H. SURLES JUDGE
Ms. Scheibe and Mr. Kubec:
hearing for the above-referenced matter was held on June 18,
2018. This matter involves a request for a name change
pursuant to Chapter 59 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code for a
five-year-old child named Travis Scheibe Kubec
("Travis"). The petition requests that his name be
changed to Travis Dawson Scheibe-Kubec, and was filed by his
natural mother, Natalie L. Scheibe ("Ms. Scheibe"),
who is pursuing the name change on his behalf. Mr. Kyle A.
Kubec ("Mr. Kubec"), Travis' natural father,
opposes the petition. At the hearing, the Court heard
testimony from Ms. Scheibe, Mr. Kubec and Mrs. Barbara Cook
("Mrs. Cook"), Mr. Kubec's mother. At the
conclusion of the hearing, the Court reserved decision. This
is the Court's decision after the hearing.
the evidence introduced at the hearing, it was established
that Ms. Scheibe and Mr. Kubec are the natural parents of
Travis. Ms. Scheibe and Mr. Kubec have joint custody of
Travis, but Ms. Scheibe has final decision authority. Ms.
Scheibe has primary physical custody and is the primary
caregiver of Travis. Mr. Kubec has visitation rights, which
he usually exercises, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm
to 7:15pm, and on Sundays from 7am to 7:15pm. Mr. Kubec
currently has no overnight visitation rights, although he
testified that over two to three years ago he took classes so
he could have Travis overnight.
Kubec pays $310 a month in child support, but is currently
over $5, 000 in arrears. Mr. Kubec was paying child support
for the year before a drug use incident led to a 20-day stay
in an outpatient rehabilitation program in New York state and
a three-to-four-month stint in a New Castle County outpatient
rehab program. Mr. Kubec testified that he is currently clean
and has been for a year. Mr. Kubec is currently unemployed
and has been since June 2017, leading to his child support
debt. Additionally, as a result of his drug use incident, Mr.
Kubec had only supervised visitation rights in a family
Scheibe believes that it is in the best interest of Travis to
change his last name to Scheibe-Kubec and to add the middle
name Dawson. Travis lives with Ms. Scheibe and with Ms.
Scheibe's parents, who also share the last name Scheibe.
Ms. Scheibe testified that she filed the petition because she
provides everything to Travis. She provides health insurance,
dental insurance, and vision insurance to Travis. Travis'
maternal grandmother, Brenda Scheibe, provides secondary
health insurance. Ms. Scheibe takes Travis to school and to
his doctor's appointments. Ms. Scheibe also testified
that she is not seeking to diminish the father's last
name, but rather seeks to add her last name to Travis'.
Ms. Scheibe further testified that Travis refers to himself
as Travis Scheibe, privately and in school. In regards to
adding Dawson as Travis' middle name, Ms. Scheibe
testified that after going through various possible middle
names, Travis choose Dawson as it would be his own name and
different from others in his family.
Kubec opposes changing Travis' last name to Scheibe-Kubec
because, when Travis was born, he and Mrs. Scheibe agreed to
give him his dad's last name. Further, Mr. Kubec and Mrs.
Cook both testified that Travis refers to himself as either
Travis Scheibe Kubec or Travis Kubec. When asked during the
hearing, Mr. Kubec expressed that he would not oppose
changing Travis' last name to Kubec-Scheibe.
legal standard for change of name petitions for minors for
when a parent seeks to add his or her surname to the
minor's surname is codified under 10 Del C.
§ 5904(b). 10 Del C. § 5904(b) states
"[i]f a parent of a minor files a petition under this
chapter and seeks to add that parent's surname to the
minor's surname either as an additional name or
hyphenated with the minor's previously-existing surname,
there is a presumption in favor of granting the
petition." If one of the parents opposes the petition to
add the petitioning parent's surname, he or she "has
the burden to overcome the presumption by establishing by
clear and convincing evidence that the totality of the
following factors demonstrates that granting the petition
would cause the minor more harm than benefit:
1. The length of time that a surname has been used for or by
2. The minor's reasonable preference for a surname.
3. The effect of the change of the minor's surname on the
preservation and development of the minor's ...