If you're an Oregon resident, you can file a petition to change a minor's name in the probate or circuit court of the county in which you reside. Sections 33.410 and 33.420 of the Oregon Revised Statutes establish procedures that the court must follow to order a minor's name change.
Parents may seek to change a minor's name because of divorce or remarriage. A court is required to grant the petition unless it finds the name change is "not consistent with the public interest."
Contact the circuit court clerk's office in the county in which you reside and request a minor name change packet that contains forms and directions specific to your local court's rules. Ask the clerk's office if you must attend an orientation prior to filing your documents. If your county does not provide forms, you can purchase them at a stationery store or from the Internet.
Obtain a certified copy of the minor's birth certificate. Provide it to the court if requested.
Complete the "Petition for Name Change for Minor." Print the minor's current legal name and new name on the petition. Don't use initials.
Complete the "Application for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem." If your child is under 14 year old, you can represent that the child gives his consent. If your child is over 14 and under 18 years old, have him sign the "Consent to Change of Name" form.
Print the minor's current legal name and new name on the forms: "Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem," "Order to Show Cause and Give Notice of Name Change Hearing" and "Notice of Name Change Hearing."
Obtain the written consent of the other legal parent, if possible, on the "Consent to Name Change" form.
Pay the required filing fee and file the completed forms with the county clerk's office.
Obtain a hearing date from the clerk's office and post public notice of the hearing in the location required by your court. Typically, notice is posted on a courthouse bulletin board. Complete the "Declaration of Posting Name Change Application." Depending on your local rules, file the affidavit with the clerk's office or present it at the hearing.
Send notice of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the other legal parent at least 30 days before the hearing date. Oregon law permits a judge to grant a name-change petition without notice to the other parent if you file a verified statement with the court that the minor has not resided with the other parent and the other parent has not contributed, or tried to contribute, to the child's financial support.
Complete the "Declaration Supporting Petition For Change of Name" if the other parent has not consented to the name change. Depending on your local rules, file the declaration with the clerk's office or bring it to the hearing.
Write the minor's current legal name and new name on the "General Judgment of Name Change," "Notice of General Judgment of Name Change" and "Declaration of Posting Notice of General Judgment of Name Change." Give these documents to the court at the hearing.
Attend the hearing and respond to the judge's questions. For reference, bring copies of all your documents.
Post the "Notice of General Judgment of Name Change" where required if the court grants your petition.
Complete the affidavit "Declaration of Posting Notice of General Judgment of Name Change" and file it with the clerk's office. Request a certificate of change of name from the clerk's office 14 days after posting.
Carry a valid photo identification when you go to the clerk's office or court.
A minor child may file a name-change petition with the court and request a hearing that excludes his or her parents.
Most Oregon courts require you use blue or black ink when completing forms. To avoid denial of your petition, ascertain and follow the rules and procedures of your local court. To change the name on your child's birth record, send a certified copy of the court's order, a statement signed by you requesting the change, filing fee and Vital Records Order Form to the Center for Health Statistics, Department of Human Services.
- courthouse image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com