A person may petition the court for a name change at any time. The person requesting to change their name must show to the court why they want to change their name and what new name they desire to be called. While one can change their name back to their maiden name in a divorce, a name change can also be obtained regardless of one’s marital status.
A parent may also petition the court to change the name of his or her minor child.
What is the process to obtain a name change?
To change your name, a petition must be filed with the court and a hearing date must be obtained. The requested name change and hearing date must be published in a local paper for a certain period of time and proof of publication must be filed with the court. A hearing will then be held in which the petitioner appears with his or her attorney to request the name change. At the time of the hearing, a decree of name change is signed and entered with the court. This process takes around six weeks.
Additional actions are required if you are requesting a name change on behalf of a minor child. The child’s other legal parent must be given notice that the name change action has been initiated and the date and time of the final hearing. If the name change isn’t agreed to, the other legal parent may intervene in the court action and object to the name change. If the name change is contested, the court will consider many factors to determine whether the well-being and substantial welfare of the child requires that his or her name be changed.
How much does a name change cost?
For adult name changes, Koenig|Dunne charges a flat fee, which includes the initial consultation with your attorney, preparation of all legal documents, the filing fee, publication requirements, publication costs, correspondence related to your case, and representation at the court hearing. Our legal team will also provide guidance as to necessary actions to take after your name has been legally changed.
For name changes of minor children, the fee will be determined based on the specific facts of your case.
Your name can be a powerful statement of your identity and that of your minor child. If you are interested in pursuing a name change, contact us to schedule a consultation to meet with an attorney to guide you through the process.