In order to change the name of a minor you have legal custody of, you must petition a South Carolina family court judge in your appropriate circuit, or area, court. If there is another parent, he or she must be named as a party in the petition as well, unless waived by the court. In the instance there is not another parent, the court will appoint a temporary guardian for the purposes of the case. If the court finds the name change to be in the best interest of the child, it will grant the petition.
Obtain a petition for a name change. South Carolina does not require a specific form to be completed in order to change a minor's name. Either have an attorney write the name change petition form for you or use a commercial service to prepare the form. There are several online legal sites that can sell you a form.
Fill out the form completely, being sure to name yourself and the other parent in the action. You will need to state the address of the minor, current and projected name of the minor and reason for the name change.
File the form with your county clerk and pay the filing fee associated with a name change. This fee may vary between counties.
Accept your appointment to appear before a family court judge, if required for your petition. You may also be required to present witnesses or other documentation depending upon the reasons for the name change. You will be notified of any additional documentation needed when your court appointment arrives.
Appear before the family court judge and present your documentation, as needed. The other parent on the petition form will also need to be present at this time.