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Legally Changing a Minor’s Name

Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_name-change.jpgAfter an adoption or disestablishment of paternity, many parents wish to officially change their child’s last name. This process can be complex and requires strict adherence to certain court procedures, so if you are interested in legally changing the name of your child, it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced complex child custody attorney.

Petition Requirements

Only certain individuals are permitted to file a petition to legally change a minor’s name, including the child’s:

  • Parents;
  • Legal guardians; or
  • Managing conservators.

All petitions for a name change must contain specific information, including:

  • The child’s current address and full name;
  • The full name being requested;
  • The reason behind the request for a name change;
  • Whether the child is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of another court; and
  • Whether the child must be registered as a sex offender.

If the child is 10 years of age or older, he or she must provide written consent to the name change.

Notification

Upon filing, the petitioner must notify certain individuals of the request for a name change, including:

  • The child’s other parent, if his or her parental rights have not been terminated;
  • The child’s managing conservator; and
  • The child’s legal guardian.

If these parties all agree on the name change they will be required to sign the petition as well as a separate verification form before a notary public.

Court Order

After the petition has been filed and all necessary parties have been notified, a court will hold a hearing to determine if the official name change is in the minor’s best interest. If the court approves the name change, the judge will sign an order, which will subsequently be filed with the Clerk of the Court. This order can then be used to change the child’s name on other documents such as his or her:

  • Birth certificate;
  • Social security card; and
  • State identification card.

If the child’s other parent or guardian does not consent to the name change, the Clerk’s office will schedule a name change hearing, at which the parties can present their arguments.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

The process of legally changing the name of a minor is much more complex than it is for adults. Multiple parties must be properly notified and served according to the court’s requirements and the petitioner must be able to convince the court that a name change is in the child’s best interest. If you live in the Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, or Leander areas, and your child was adopted by a new spouse or his or her biological father’s rights have been terminated and you are interested in legally changing the child’s name, please contact the Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512-610-6199 and a member of our legal team will help you schedule a consultation. Our aggressive Round Rock complex litigation attorneys are here to help you.

 

Sources:

http://www.collincountytx.gov/law_library/Documents/online_forms/NameChangeMinorOneParent.pdf#search=Petition%2C%20Verification%2C%20and%20Order

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CR/htm/CR.62.htm#62

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759