In Arkansas, circuit court clerks in the county you live in process name change applications. Changing a minor's name is process similar to changing the name of an adult. The most notable difference both parents or legal guardians of the child must give permission to change the child's name. A child's name change does not affect legal decisions, such as custody or child support, made on behalf of the child.
Verify permission to change the minor's name from both parents or all legal guardians. One parent cannot change his child's name without the approval of the other parent.
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Create a name change petition. The Arkansas courts do not provide a formal name change form. You may create your own, have your attorney draft one or obtain a form from a legal forms service. List your name and address, the child's current name and proposed name change, the reason for the name change and the names of all interested parties in the name change, such as the other parent.
Notarize the form. All interested parties must sign and date the form in front of a licensed notary public. This can be accomplished at the clerk's office at your county courthouse.
Take several copies of the form, your ID, proof of your relationship with the child, the child's birth certificate and any legal documents pertaining to the child, such as custody decisions, to your county courthouse. File the form with the clerk and pay the fee required by your county.
Attend your court appointment with the child. Explain your reason for the name change. If there are extenuating circumstances the court should take into consideration, such as a missing second parent or the child's desire to change his name, the court will hear them.
Supply an Order of Name Change form for the court to sign once the name change is approved. These can be obtained from a legal forms service.
Change the child's name on legal documents, such as the birth certificate, ID or driver's license, using the Order of Name Change as proof of the name change.
The court will put the best interest of the child first in considering the name change.
Once the name change is in place, remember to change the child's name on school records, medical records and insurance and church records.
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