How to Legally Change the Middle Name of a Child

Legally changing the middle name of a child is accomplished through the judicial system. In most states, the probate court deals with changing the middle name of a child. In some states, this type of issue is handled in family court. Typically, a petition to change the middle name of a child is a fairly easy task. Absent an objection from a person who demonstrates an interest in the case and your child's name, the court will approve the proposed name change following an informal hearing.

Contact the clerk of the court in your county and find out whether a petition for a name change is filed in probate or family court. Request a copy of the rules of the court, as well as any standard forms the clerk maintains to assist you in pursuing a name change case.

Draft affidavits of consent, one each for you and the other parent. The court needs to know whether both parents agree to altering the middle name of the child. If you have sole custody of the child or the other parent is out of the child's life for some other reason, the court likely will proceed without the consent of that parent.

Read More: How to Legally Remove Your Middle Name

Prepare a petition for name change. One of the forms you obtain from the clerk's office likely will be a petition for a name change. Even though you are dealing with changing the middle name of a child, you need to include a couple of statements in the petition by operation of law. First, state that the name change is not requested to avoid creditors. Second, set forth that the name change is not being pursued to avoid criminal prosecution.

Obtain a hearing date from the clerk's office. The hearing date is set approximately 60 days in the future to provide sufficient time for publication of legal notice in a local newspaper.

Submit to the local newspaper a legal notice advising of the proposed name change and the date and time of the hearing. The clerk of the court will provide you with a standard form legal notice. In most states the legal notice needs to be published for three consecutive weeks. Because you are dealing with a minor child, the court may approve waiving the legal notice publication. However, in most cases a parent needs to be prepared to arrange for the publication of a legal notice.

Appear at the hearing on the petition to change for name change. Be prepared to answer any basic questions the judge might have in regard to the proposed name change. Barring any legally significant objection by an interested party, the judge will issue an order granting the requested name change.

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