from a decree of divorce regarding the surname of the
parties' child. Eighth Judicial District Court, Family
Court Division, Clark County; T. Arthur Ritchie, Jr., Judge.
Office of Telia U. Williams and Telia U. Williams, Las Vegas,
Law Group and Shann D. Winesett and Bruce I. Shapiro,
Henderson, for Respondent.
THE COURT EN BANC 
appeal we consider, as a matter of first impression, the
standard of proof to be applied by district courts in
resolving initial naming disputes for a child of married
parents. Because neither married parent should have the
burden of proof in an initial naming dispute, the focus
should be on the best interests of their child. In the matter
before us, the district court determined that the child's
name should be hyphenated to include both parents'
surnames, and in doing so, considered the best interests of
the child. We thus affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
their marriage, appellant Paige Elizabeth Petit and
respondent Kevin Daniel Adrianzen had a child. Before their
child's birth, the parties agreed on the child's
first and middle names but disagreed on the child's
surname. The parties were estranged when their child was
born, and Petit gave the child her surname.
months after the birth of their child, Adrianzen filed a
complaint for divorce and petitioned to change the
child's surname to Adrianzen. The complaint for divorce
and petition were consolidated, and an evidentiary hearing
was held. After reasoning that it was in the child's best
interest to have a surname that allowed the child to identify
with both parents, the district court ordered that the
child's surname be changed to Petit-Adrianzen. This
argues that the district court abused its discretion by using
an incorrect standard of proof in deciding to change the
child's surname. Whether a district court used the proper
standard of proof is a legal question we review de novo.
Matter of Halverson, 123 Nev. 493, 509, 169 P.3d
1161, 1172 (2007). And we review a district court's
findings of a child's best interest for an abuse of
discretion. Flynn v. Flynn, 120 Nev. 436, 440, 92
P.3d 1224, 1227 (2004).
there are two types of disputes that arise in naming a child.
The first type is an initial naming dispute where the
child's parents never reached an agreement on the
child's surname and seek to have the issue resolved for
the first time after the child is born and has been named by
one parent without the consent of the other parent, See,
e.g., In re A.C.S., 171 P.3d 1148, 1150-51 (Alaska
2007). The second type is a general change-of-name dispute
where the parents originally agreed upon a surname for the
child, but one parent later seeks to change the child's
surname. See, e.g., Acevedo v. Burley, 994 P.2d 389,
390 (Alaska 1999); Schroeder v. Broadfoot, 790 A.2d
773, 781 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2002).
previously addressed the general change-of-name dispute in
Magiera v. Luera, 106 Nev. 775, 802 P.2d 6 (1990).
In that case, a child was born to an unmarried couple, but
the father acknowledged his paternity and signed the birth
certificate listing the mother's surname as the
child's agreed-upon surname. Id. at 776, 802
P.2d at 7. Four years later, during child support
proceedings, the father urged the district court to change
the child's surname to his surname. Id. The
district court ordered the child's surname changed to the
father's surname after determining that, since the father
was making child support payments, he was entitled to have
the child bear his surname. Id. at 777, 802 P.2d at
7. This court reversed the district court's order,
holding that the child's best interest is the only
relevant factor in deciding the child's surname and that
"the burden is on the party seeking the name change to
prove, by clear and compelling evidence, that the substantial
welfare of the child necessitates a name change."
argues that this court should apply Magiera's
clear and compelling standard of proof in all
child-name-change cases. Adrianzen argues that
Magiera's clear and compelling standard of proof
is inapplicable here because he and Petit were married at the