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.