Table of Contents:
- How to Change a Child's Last Name in California
- How to Change a Minor's Name in Kansas
- How to Legally Change a Child's Last Name in Florida
- How to Change a Child's Name in Arizona
- How to Change a Child's Last Name in Arkansas
- How to Change a Child's Name in Texas
- Changing a Child's Last Name in Louisiana
- How to Legally Change a Child's Name in Oregon
- How to Change the Name of a Minor in Tennessee
- How to Change a Minor's Name in Massachusetts
- How to Change a Child's Name in Pennsylvania
- How to Legally Change a Child's Name in Alabama
- Changing a Child's Name in Ohio
Download, the forms NC-100 (Petition for Change of Name), NC-110 (Name and Information About the Person Whose Name is to Be Changed), NC-120 (Order to Show Cause for Change of Name), NC-130 (Decree for Changing Name), and CM-010 (Civil Case Cover Sheet). The forms are available at the California Courts: Self Help Center website. They can also be obtained from the court. The California: Find a Court website has a list of courts, phone numbers, and links to their websites.
Fill the forms out carefully. Improperly filed forms may be rejected requiring a resubmission, including a new filing fee. Form NC-100 has detailed instructions about legally changing a name.
File the forms CM-010 and NC-100 with the clerk of court, at the local courthouse. There is a $325 filing fee. You will receive two filed-endorsed copies of the petition.
Request a court hearing date by filing form NC-120 with the clerk of court.
Attend the hearing and get the judge's signature on the NC-120 form.
File the signed form NC-120 with the clerk of court. You will receive two filed-endorsed copies and a date for a second hearing.
Publish the form NC-120. This can be done through the local newspaper. It must be published at least four weeks prior to the second hearing. You will need proof of publication for the judge. Generally the newspaper will send you a copy of the issue with the published petition. If there is no local newspaper, you can petition the clerk of court to post the notice.
Attend the second hearing. Bring copies of all the documents and proof of publication for form NC-120. If everything is in order the judge will sign the petition granting a legal name change for the child.
Schedule an appointment with your local clerk of district court to start the process of changing your child's last name.
Bring a certified copy of your child's birth certificate with you to the appointment. Also, make sure both parents have identification, such as a driver's license. The biological father will need to be present if you're changing your child's last name to his last name.
Fill out a Paternity Content Form For Birth Registration, also known as a VS211, if you're changing your child's last name to his or her biological father's name, hyphenating the child's name, or changing the child's name to the mother's maiden name. The clerk's office will provide you with a copy of this form during the appointment and help you fill it out. Once completed, the clerk will submit the form for you.
Hire an attorney if you want to change your child's name to a name that isn't the biological mother's name or biological father's name. This will require a legal name change under the statute K.S.A. 60-1402. This can be difficult for the average person to understand, so hiring an attorney will help make the process easier. To legally change your child's name, you'll have to appear before a judge to get the request granted. Then, you'll need to submit the court order you receive to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment along with a letter stating you want your child's name changed.
Download the forms, “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” and “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor” from the Florida court website. You can also pick up these forms in person at any Florida circuit courthouse.
Fill out the “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” form using blue or black ink or a computer. This is the form used to petition for a child’s name change. You will be required to supply both parents’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses. If you do not know where the child’s other parent resides and the other parent has no contact with the child, you may file the petition as a case of abandonment and neglect.
Request consent from the child’s other parent if the other parent has been active in the child’s life. You can do this by having him fill out the form “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor.” He will have to sign the “Consent for Change of Name of a Minor” document in front of a Notary Public. File your completed copies of the two forms with your local circuit court.
Notify the other parent that you have filed the paperwork and give her the date of the court hearing. If you wish, you may have a sheriff serve the paperwork to the other parent. If she contests the name change she can attend the court hearing.
Attend your hearing and ask the judge to change the child’s name. The judge will make any final decisions on the name change at this time and you will receive paperwork in the mail informing you of his or her decision.
If the child’s name is being changed due to adoption, fill out the “Petition for Name Change of a Minor” and file it along with proof of the adoption. Attend the court hearing and explain to the judge that you would like the name change due to the adoption. The judge will approve or deny the name change and inform you accordingly.
Children less than a year old
To change the name of a child less than a year old, Arizona requires an affidavit and at least one independent document backing up the information in the affidavit. Both parents have to sign the affidavit unless only one parent is listed on the child's birth certificate. Parents can visit the Office of Vital Records in person or file a request through the mail.
Documents accepted to back up the affidavit include the child's baptismal record, blessing certificate, immunization record and medical records. The document must have been created before the child turned six months old and include the date and the child's full name. An Arizona state registrar may require more documents.
If a child's paternity has not been legally established, the birth mother and alleged father can collectively file an acknowledgment of who the child's father is. The child's name will be changed at the same time paternity is established. This applies if the child's birth mother and biological father married after the child was born.
Parents can visit the Office of Vital Records in person or file a request through the mail.
Children older than one year
If one parent objects, you will have to notify him about the hearing on the name change. He can sign a document saying he was told about the hearing. You can also serve notice by certified mail or through a process server who is legally allowed to deliver the papers. If the other parent is served through certified mail, this has to be done at least 30 days before the hearing on the name change. The court is less likely to grant the name change if one parent objects, especially if he has kept up a relationship with the child. The court may approve the child's name change even if one parent objects.
If you don't know where the other parent is, you can serve notice to her by printing the Petition for Change of name in a newspaper where the other parent was last known to have lived.
Before publishing the petition in a newspaper, try to find the other parent. You can do this by contacting her family, friends or last employer.
Once you have a court order to change your child's name, file a certified copy of the order with the Arizona Office of Vital Records. Parents can visit the office in person or file a request through the mail.
There are no additional steps to change the name of a child who is being adopted. This is taken care of during the adoption process with no additional fees.
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.
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.
Discuss the issue of changing your child's name with her other parent or legal guardian. In the state of Texas, both parents and any legal guardian all need to agree on the name change before it can legally take place.
Locate a notary public. A notary public can be found in your bank or you can hire one privately.
Fill out the "Original Joint Petition for Child Name Change" form, located in "Forms" in Resources below.
Have the child sign the "Child's Consent to Name Change" form if they are over 10 years old. The form is located in Resources below.
Fill out the "Order to Change the Name of a Child" form, located in Resources below. All signatures must be notarized. File the forms in the child's home county. You will then be informed of the date for a hearing on the name change. At the hearing, once the judge signs the Order, the child's name will be legally changed. Get certified copies of the Order from the Clerk's office. You will need them to change the child's name on his or her birth certificate and Social Security records.
You will need to notify the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to amend the birth certificate. There is a $15 fee to file the legal name-change amendment and a certified copy of the new birth certificate will cost $22. Their toll-free number is 888- 963-7111. You will need to submit the certified copy of the Order of the Name Change along with the Application to Amend a Birth Certificate (see Resources below). Mail these along with a check or money order for the fees to: Texas Vital Statistics Department of State Health Services P.O. Box 12040 Austin, TX 78711
Contact your local Social Security office to change the child's name in their records and get a new card. You will need to fill out an application for a social security card (Form SS-5) and show documents proving your child's U.S. citizenship, legal name change and identity and proof of your identity. You can use a child's passport or birth certificate as proof of citizenship and identity. You will need to show the Order for a Name Change or the amended birth certificate plus one identity document in your child's old name and one with the new legal name.
Complete the Application to Amend Certificate of Birth, available on the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals website. This form must be completed by the parents or legal guardians unless one of the legal guardians is deceased, was not awarded any custody rights by a court, or if one parent has failed to follow a court's ruling for a minimum of one year.
Gather as many of the following documents as you can if you are submitting for a change of last name due to a spelling error. Baptismal certificates, hospital letters and/or midwife letters are all acceptable documents of evidence.
Obtain a court order for the name change if your are completely changing your child's current last name. Contact your closest district court to receive a Petition for Name Change. Complete the form and submit it back to the court. Wait for the court to either grant or deny the name change.
Provide an Acknowledgement of Paternity for children under the age of 13 who require a name change and were born outside of a marriage. This form must be submitted by the mother and father together. If the father will not acknowledge paternity, the mother will have to file a lawsuit to establish paternity.
Supply a five-year record for children who require a last name change and are 13 or older. A five-year record is a record created at least five years prior to the date on which you submit the request for name change. It must include the registrant's name, date of birth, place of birth and parents' names. Sufficient documents include an application for social security number, school records, marriage application or baptismal record.
Send all documents of evidence along with the completed Application to Amend Certificate of Birth to the Louisiana Vital Records Registry, attention to Document Alteration Section, PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160. Include a money order in the amount of $18 plus fifty cents for each mail submission. You will also have to send an extra $15 if you cannot supply a copy of your child's current birth certificate. If you wish to receive a copy after the amendment has been made, you must also include an additional $9.
Obtain the legal forms for a name change. Many stationery stores carry legal forms, and you can also find them through online services. These are not forms issued by the state of Oregon, but rather are commercially available. As of 2010, the packet of forms will likely cost between $50 and $60.
Fill out the forms, and double check that you have spelled your child's name as you want it to appear on all legal forms. According to the Oregon State Bar Association, you will need the following forms: petition for change of name, order to give notice to appear and show cause, notice of change of name hearing, affidavit of proof of posting notice of hearing, post order affidavit of posting, change of name decree, and notice of change of name.
Create two copies of each form, and have both parents sign each copy. File the forms at your county courthouse. You will have to pay a filing fee (which varies by county). Ask the clerk about any rules unique to your county, as each county is a little different. You are not required to hire a lawyer, but a local attorney would be able to help you follow all the right procedures.
Sometimes you will have a hearing where the judge will ask you to explain why you want to change your child's name. Your child should attend that hearing with you, if possible. If you are changing your child's name as part of an adoption, you can include the name change in the adoption petition and will not need to file separate name-change forms.
After the judge allows the child's name change, if it is not part of an adoption decree, you will need to post notice of the name change at the courthouse for 14 days. After that, your child's name change will be final and you can apply for a new birth certificate if you wish.
Parents often spend a long time choosing with love, care and attention the name that will appear on their baby's birth certificate. Just in case you change your mind later, Tennessee law allows you to pick a different name, but you'll have to go to court to do it. The process varies depending on whether you're changing the child's first name or surname, and whether the parents were married or unmarried at the time of the child's birth.
If the child's parents were married at the time of the baby's birth, there is a one-year period when both parents can mutually decide to change the baby's name. You can make any changes you like to the baby's first and middle names, but under Tennessee name change law, the child's surname can only be changed to the mother's surname, the mother's maiden name, the father's surname or any combination of these.
For children of unmarried parents, the mother has the sole right to choose the child's first name and middle name. By Tennessee law, the baby must be given the same last name as the mother, the mother's maiden name or any combination of the two. The mother is also allowed – but not required – to give the baby their father's surname if the father acknowledges his paternity.
Rights of an Unmarried Father
Tennessee law permits the child's biological father to ask the court to change the child's surname to the father's surname as long as the father has sworn a declaration of paternity. But the odds may be stacked against him. If the mother objects, Tennessee courts will not change the child's surname unless it is in the child's best interest. The father must show that the mother had done something sufficiently wrong to forfeit her right to pass on her surname. When both parents are of equal character, the mother's surname will trump.
Procedure for a Legal Name Change in Tennessee
Regardless of marital status, the parent or parents seeking the name change must file a petition in the county court where the child lives. Start the proceedings by visiting the courthouse to request a Petition for Change of Name of Minor form from the court clerk. Fill out the details and sign the verification in front of a notary public. The petition may require supporting evidence, such as the child's birth certificate, Social Security information and photo IDs for the petitioning parents. File the appropriate documents with the court clerk and pay the filing fee.
Attend the Court Hearing
After filing the petition, the court will schedule a hearing date. At the hearing, the judge listens to the facts and determines whether the name change is in the best interest of the child. If the other parent files an objection to your name change request, the case will be contested. At this point, you might think about consulting an attorney or you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing.
After the Court Hearing
If the name change is approved, the judge issues an official name change order. You will need this document to legally amend the child's birth certificate, Social Security record and other vital documents.
Fill out the name change form on behalf of the minor child. Complete the child's address information, birthplace and birth name information, parental information and reasons for the name change.
Massachusetts forbids name changes for the purposes of avoiding a debt or defrauding others.
Call the Probate Court clerk's office in your county. Locate the court by using your telephone directory or the directory of Massachusetts Probate Courts. Send the paperwork into the court via mail. Keep copies of all documents for your records.
Schedule a hearing for a name change. Show up at the Probate Court on the appointed day with the true copy of the minor child's birth certificate plus your identification. You'll need it to prove your identity to the court.
Inform the judge presiding over the hearing of your intent to change the child's name. The judge will review the filed paperwork and approve or deny the minor's name change request. If approved, she will advise you to publish notification of the name change in a local newspaper by a certain date before the name change can be enacted.
Publish the required legal notice of this name change in the paper by the set date. The court will send you legal notice of which local paper you need to publish in. Obtain a copy of the published notice and send this to the court. Once you've provided proof of compliance, the court will grant the name change and send you the legal proof.
Contact Local County Clerk's Office in Appropriate Jurisdiction
Find the contact information of your local county clerk's office. The Internet is a good place to search for the information. The appropriate jurisdiction for the county clerk's office filing will be the county in which the child currently resides.
Request Petition for Change of Name of Child documents from your local Court of Common Pleas office, located in your local courthouse. This document will include requests for the parent to fill in specific information regarding the nature of the name change, reasoning for name change, address information of the past five consecutive years of child and parent, and current names of both the child and the parent(s).
Formally file the Petition for Name Change of Child with the Court of Common Pleas in your respective county courthouse at the Prothonotary's Office. Here, your petition will be reviewed and a hearing date will be scheduled regarding proposed name change. The hearing date will be no more than three months from filing date and no sooner than one month and requires completion of Step 4 .
Complete legal requirement to give notice of the proposed name change of the child by posting notices in two circulating newspapers; one of which must be the official paper for posting legal notices in your respective county. The other is typically a daily newspaper serving your county. Proof of these publications must be brought to future hearing date regarding the proposed change of name of the child. Additionally, if other parent(s) of child exist, notification must be given to these individuals of the proposed name change of their child.
Attend court hearing with all appropriate documentation regarding notice of name change in local newspaper publications. Additionally, petitioners should be prepared to defend proposed name change against any lawful objections by other interested parties, or potentially, the court itself, if it believes a name change is not in the best interest of the child. If approved, a decree is issued by the court, and the Petition for Change of Name of Child is approved by court decree.
Adoption is just one of the reasons a parent may wish to change the name of her child. A man may discover he is the father of a child and wish to make the name change to establish paternity and for the child to share his last name. Alabama has certain guidelines you must follow to make the name change legal. Changing the name of a minor is a simple task if you have the proper documentation required by law. This will save you and the court both time and money.
Make sure the child is a legal resident in the county before requesting a name change. Typically, six to 12 months is required.
Provide the court with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, as suggested by the Montgomery County Alabama website. If you do not have a copy, you can obtain one by calling the Center of Health Statistics in that county (334-206-5418).
Get the father’s signature on a consent form to obtain the legal name change. If the father is unknown or cannot be located, an attorney must handle the name change.
Present a picture identification if you are the parent. You can use a driver’s license or military ID card.
Obtain your child’s signature if he is 14 years old or older. He must consent on the legal document.
Pay a fee to the court for the legal name change. In March of 2010, this filing fee was $15. An additional fee of $4 will be collected for a certified copy of the document.
Complete a "Consent Form" to express consent to the legal name change of the child. Both legal parents or guardians should sign the form. The consent form can be obtained from your county probate court. If the legal parent of the child cannot be contacted, you can still move forward with the name change.
File a "Legal Name Change Form" with your county's probate court. You can obtain a copy of this form from your county Probate Court. On the form, you must state the reason for changing the child's name as well as the new name for the child.
Provide evidence to the court that the child has been a resident of the county for at least one year and that you are the legal guardian of the child. Examples of evidence are certified court documents showing that you have been awarded legal guardianship, a copy of school records and a lease agreement that shows the child's name as an occupant.
Pay the fee of $34.95 (as of March 2010) to submit the name change request. Generally, within 45 days of submitting the name change request and paying the fee, you will be notified of the date for the court hearing that will finalize the name change.
Attend the court hearing on the specified date. The court will examine your request, taking into consideration the best interest of the child. The courts will issue an "Order" for the name change to take effect.