In a 2007 survey by BabyCenter, three percent of parents had remorse after choosing their child’s name. Reasons given included constant mispronunciation, too trendy names and family disagreements. Many parents opt to use a nickname instead of legally changing their child’s name. If a nickname is not the desired option, Virginia parents have other alternatives. The mother may add the father’s name to the birth certificate at a later date if the parents were not married at the time of birth. The child’s last name will change to the father’s last name. Parents may also file an Application for Change of Name for a minor in a Virginia court of jurisdiction.
Complete Virginia’s Application for Change of Name for a minor, Form CC-1427. Visit the county clerk of jurisdiction or access Virginia’s Judicial System website for an application (see Resources).
Sign the application in the presence of a notary and submit the original copy to the county court and keep a copy for your records. Some Virginia courts may require additional copies of the application. Contact the county clerk in your area to verify the number of copies needed.
Serve the other parent if you are not married with notice of the name change and allow time for the parent to consent or object. Virginia requires the signed consent of both parents. If the other parent signs the application, service of process is not required.
Complete an Affidavit and Order of Publication, if the location of the other parent is unknown. The publication must run in four successive weeks in a newspaper approved by the court. Publication running time may vary by county. Contact your county clerk for specific instructions.
Attend the scheduled hearing. If the parent objects to the name change, a hearing will be held to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the child. The court will order a name change if it deems the request is absent of fraudulent intent, right infringement and in the best interest of the child.