A name change can be tricky because there are different rules for changing your name if you are a minor compared to changing the name of an adult. These are the general steps but you will need to check with your local county to make sure that there are no special forms and requirements for your particular county. As with any legal process you should consult an attorney if you have any questions.
To change the name of an adult you will need to get a copy of the Virginia State application for change of name. You will need to complete the form truthfully and completely.
The form will need to be signed in front of a notary.
Pursuant to Virginia Code§ 8.01-217 the application should be filed in the circuit court in the county in which the persons whose name is being changed lives.
After the application is submitted to the court and the filing fee is paid the clerk will set a hearing.
At the hearing you will need to testify to the judge the reason that you are requesting the name change, any former names you have used, and you must disclose any felony criminal record.
You must make sure that you are willing to attest to the fact that you are not requesting the name change for the purpose of committing fraud or to avaid the law.
With the name change of a minor the same rules will apply, but both parents must agree to the change of name. If only one parent is petitioning for the change then notice must be given to the other parent of the hearing so that they have to opportunity to object and you must prove to the court that the name change is for the best interest of the child.