First, you should be aware
that this is absolutely possible. Of course, before you can move forward,
you’ll need to learn what you need to do. Once you know which steps to take,
you can put your plan into action. Before you know it, the entire process will
be completed. You’ll be relieved to know when
everything is taken care of.
Below, you’ll find everything
that you’ll need to do, from the steps you’ll need to go through to the costs
you’ll have to cover. Once you’ve completed the process and have a court order,
you’ll be able to obtain a new ID and change official records, such as birth
certificates and passports. You can change school records as well.
Is A Legal Name Change
If you want to officially
change a name with a school and update documents like a birth certificate and
social security card, a Certified Copy of a Decree Changing Name is required.
In the United States, it’s not possible to change a person’s name via deed
poll. This is a court order process, which you’ll
receive once you’ve finished your petition and gone through the hearing
approval process in superior court. You’ll receive a certified copy of the
Decree Changing Name from a court clerk after the document has been signed by a
judge. When you present the certified copy of the court order to government
agencies, they will comply with your name change request.
How does a legal name change
differ from an informal name change? In order to obtain a legal name change,
you have to go through a court process. This should result in you receiving a
court order for your name change. This order must be obeyed by government
offices. If you don’t have a court order, no one will be required to honor the
How Can I Change A Name?
As recommended by EZ Name Change in California, to change a name you must complete a Petition for Change of
Name. This is one of several court forms you must complete when submitting a
name change petition.
To start, you’ll need to
obtain the necessary forms. You can obtain them from a court clerk at a
superior court, or you can get the forms you need online. In some counties, you
may need to complete additional local forms as well. Make sure you obtain all
of the forms that you need to complete.
Once the forms have been
filled out and signed, you’ll want to make an additional copy of every page.
You’ll want to bring the original forms and the copies of the petition to the
superior courthouse. Bring them to the civil unlimited filing window and pay
the required filing fee. Remember, you should select a qualifying newspaper and
place their name under section 3a of the Order To Show Cause Form prior to
making copies or filing your forms with the court. After you do this, you’ll
receive a hearing date from the filing clerk. If your request is approved
during the hearing, you will receive your court order. When filing, you should request that the clerk provide you with both a
Conformed Copy of the petition you’ve filed as well as an additional copy of
the Conformed Order to Show Cause form.
You should take one of these
forms to the newspaper that you have selected. Request that they run your
required publishing for you, as specified in CCP 1277(a)(2)). Request that they
file Proof of Publication with the court after the final publication. You
should also request a copy so that you can bring it to your hearing. While this
isn’t a requirement, it can be helpful to have copies of forms in case
something is missing. After that, you can attend your hearing, where you will
receive a Decree from a judge as long as it’s
approved. After the hearing, you should be able to obtain a Certified Copy of
What Can I Do If The Other
Parent Is Not Involved Or Does Not Agree With The Name Change?
A parent can legally petition
for this on their own. In fact, this happens frequently. With that said, judges
must comply with the law, as specified in (CCP 1277(a)(4), if one of a child’s
parents does not consent to the name change. A couple’s marital status has no
bearing on this. The rules are the same whether you are married, divorced, or
were never married to your child’s other parent.
If a parent is uninvolved,
consent is not necessary. However, the parent does need to be served with a
conformed copy of an Order to Show Cause form. The parent does not have to
provide consent at e any time. It is only necessary for them to be served. After the
parent has been served, it’s necessary to file the Proof of Service form. If
it’s not possible to serve the other parent, you must submit a declaration
explaining why it can’t reasonably be done. Whether or not the requirement to
serve can be waived is up to the discretion of a judge.
If one of a child’s parents
objects, a judge isn’t likely to ignore those objections. With that said, if
family law court has awarded you full legal
custody of your child, or if there are other custody orders in place, a judge
may approve a name change request in spite of the other person’s objections. If
you believe that a child’s other parent will lodge a formal objection, you
should try to get them to agree to the request prior to petitioning. Expect
your judge to be deciding in the best interest of your child.
It is possible for both
parents to sign a petition prior to filing, even when they don’t live together.
In a scenario like this, a judge won’t have to take parental consent into consideration, when deciding whether or not a
petition should be granted.
What Will It Cost To Obtain A
The largest cost of a name
change is the Court Filing Costs. In the state of California, the cost of
filing can range from $435 to $480. Petitions are filed within the superior
court. Court charges will never be under $435. If you can’t afford the cost of
filing, superior courts do offer a Fee Waiver Request form.
The cost of publishing is
generally between $60 and $130. In some cases, however, it can be higher. Costs
up to $500 are possible. You’ll want to find out what those costs will be
before selecting a newspaper if you can. It’s typical to pay around $80. It’s
not possible to have publishing charges waived in most cases. With that said,
there are exemptions for Safe-At-Home and gender identity petitions.
You won’t have to spend any
service fees to prepare your petition if you take
care of it on your own. You’ll pay approximately $190 for FULL SERVICE through
EZ Name Change. If you work with a lawyer, you can expect to pay anywhere from
$500 to $2,500 in fees. There are companies that will help you with court
forms. Typically, they charge somewhere around $50 to
$150, but may not have all the correct or up to date forms for your area. If you work with a non-specialized paralegal, you can
expect to pay between $300 and $500.
There are other costs to
consider as well. If you use personal service to serve a parent, your costs can be around $40 to $100. To have a friend or relative
(adult) help you with that, it’s generally free as a favor. If you use a Certified Mail service, you can expect to pay
under $10. If you pay someone to help you with preparing the declaration, you
are likely to pay between $75 and $250. If you
want to obtain a Certified Copy of the amended birth certificate, you’ll be
paying approximately $23 a copy. Some courts will provide you with a Certified Copy of your Decree Changing Name at no extra charge, but
the official cost is $40.50 per copy now.
Is It Possible To Change A
Child’s First And Middle Name?
Yes, you can change a child’s
middle name as well. Whether you’re changing one letter of a child’s name or
their entire name, the process and costs will be the same. That’s why you
should make sure you’re happy with every aspect of the new name when you go
through this process. Remember, the process will stay the same whether you are
divorced, married, or have never been married to your child’s other parent.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of
A Legal Name Change
Benefits: Above all else,
people are happier when they have a name that they are satisfied with. If
you’re changing your child’s surname, for example, it may help them to feel
like they’re a real part of the family. Having the same last name as your child
can also help you with medical scenarios and when dealing with a child’s
school. It’s possible to have the changed surname applied to the birth
certificate. Even though the court process will result in a legal name change,
nothing else will be impacted. Child support and custody orders, visitation,
and future background checks won’t be impacted.
Drawbacks: Obtaining an amended birth
certificate isn’t necessary. However, if this is something you want to do, you
should be prepared to wait a few months. It’s necessary to change a child’s
social security card once you’ve obtained the court order. Thankfully, that
process isn’t difficult. If you are interested in obtaining dual citizenship
for your child, or if you need the consent of passport authorities in another
country, you should look into those requirements.