A child’s last name may need to be changed for a number of reasons, including the parents getting married or divorced, a stepparent adopting the child or the child being adopted into a family. Changing a child’s legal name in the state of Florida requires that the child’s guardians or parents file paperwork with the Florida Circuit Court system. The child’s name change will become legal after a judge approves it.
Download the forms, “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” and “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor” from the Florida court website. You can also pick up these forms in person at any Florida circuit courthouse.
Fill out the “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” form using blue or black ink or a computer. This is the form used to petition for a child’s name change. You will be required to supply both parents’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses. If you do not know where the child’s other parent resides and the other parent has no contact with the child, you may file the petition as a case of abandonment and neglect.
Request consent from the child’s other parent if the other parent has been active in the child’s life. You can do this by having him fill out the form “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor.” He will have to sign the “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor” document in front of a Notary Public. File your completed copies of the two forms with your local circuit court.
Notify the other parent that you have filed the paperwork and give her the date of the court hearing. If you wish, you may have a sheriff serve the paperwork to the other parent. If she contests the name change she can attend the court hearing.
Attend your hearing and ask the judge to change the child’s name. The judge will make any final decisions on the name change at this time and you will receive paperwork in the mail informing you of his or her decision.
If the child’s name is being changed due to adoption, fill out the “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” and file it along with proof of the adoption. Attend the court hearing and explain to the judge that you would like the name change due to the adoption. The judge will approve or deny the name change and inform you accordingly.