The Name Change Process

The Name Change Process

The first step in officially changing your name is to file a name change petition in the proper court and pay the filing fee.

In most states, the person making the request must publish a notice in a local newspaper stating that he or she has filed a name change petition. If other individuals (such as the parents of a minor child or a spouse) would be affected by the name change, then notice must be given to the affected party.

Usually, the court will order a hearing for final consideration of the name change petition. This is also an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the name change. If the court does not find any reasonable objections, it will issue a judgment authorizing the name change.

  • Introduction to Changing Your Name
    LegalZoom's education center provides you with the information and resources you need when considering a name change. The Name Change Guide provides general information about changing your name, and the FAQs answer some of the most common questions people ask. This information allows you to make...
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  • Usage vs. Order of Name Change
    In most states, you may change your name by usage. This is accomplished by consistently using the new name in all aspects of your personal, social, and business life, to the point where it in fact becomes the name you are known by when dealing with others. This is legally valid and does not involve...
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  • Reasons for a Name Change
    There are various reasons for requesting a name change. It may be based on events such as divorce, or it may simply be based on dissatisfaction with the name. Some other fairly common reasons include:
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  • Types of Name Change Applications
    There are three types of name change petitions:<.p> Adult This is a name change filed by an adult individual. Minor This is a name change filed by individuals seeking to change the name of a minor. Usually, the petition is filed by the parents or guardian of the child. Family This name change...
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  • Legal Requirements for a Name Change
    The general legal requirements for changing your name are: Residency You must live in the county and state where the name change petition will be filed. In some states, you must have lived in the county and state for a certain time (often at least six months) prior to filing. Legal grounds for a...
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  • Restrictions on a Name Change
    Below are a few of the restrictions placed on new names:
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