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Neal v. Neal

Supreme Court of Missouri
941 S.W.2d 501 (1997)


Facts

Melissa Neal (plaintiff) and Bruce Neal (defendant) married in September 1994 and separated in February 1995, at which point Mrs. Neal was pregnant. Mrs. Neal filed for divorce in March 1995. Her petition included a request that she legally regain her maiden name, Gintz. When the couple’s son was born in July, she gave him the surname Gintz and did not include her husband on the birth certificate. The couple was granted a divorce in September 1995. The trial judge refused to restore Mrs. Neal’s maiden name, however, without supplying any reason for the denial. The judge also ordered, upon Mr. Neal’s request, that the child’s name be changed to Neal and that Mr. Neal be added to the birth certificate. Mrs. Neal appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Covington, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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