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 Necessary?
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 name change.
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 the Decree.
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 Name Change?
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.