Superior Electoral Court to decide name change cases

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) will no longer handle requests to change a name. The new Civil Registry Acts Law 04-23 orders that name change procedures be be filed first at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), and not at the JCE. The TSE will first study requests for a change of a name, and, if approved, the high court will then send a note to the JCE, which, in turn, will notify the applicant of the authorization to carry out the requested change.

The law authorizes the online issuing of civil registry documents.

Another novel feature is that the law allows for a one-time changing of the last names, but only when the first ID or cedula is issued when the child is 16.

Law 04-23 prohibits parents choosing for the children names that might cause confusion at a later age. Parents can no longer choose a name that might confuse the sex of the child (such as Dolores or Barbara for a boy). The law bans duplicates of names among brothers or sisters, unless the sibling has died before the birth of the new child. Article 74 permits the official at the Civil Registry office to refuse to register any name that goes against these guidelines. However, families can appeal this decision.

The law also has new regulations for communal or separate assets at the time of marriage. The Current Civil Status Law admits communal and separate assets at the time of marriage, but the new legislation in Law 04-23 requires sworn, notarized statements of assets if the couple is requesting a separation of assets at the time of their wedding. And, more importantly, this may not be changed during the time of the marriage. In most cases, people get married without any thought to a future division of assets, so this new regulation will probably be used in just a few cases.

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6 February 2023