There are a variety of reasons one might want to make changing their name in their children. A name change could signal an entirely new chapter in the life of a person, let go of the name that is associated to it, or change the child’s name to the new stepparents’ names. No matter the cause, it is important to be aware of the legal procedures you need to do to get the name of your child legally changed.
Who What, Where, and How Do I apply for a name change?
In the beginning it, only parents, guardian, or other conservator is able to request the name of a child changed. This means that children themselves are not able to be able to change their name regardless of whether they wish to. If a child’s name is changed or any other person in general to obtain a legally valid name change, it will require a the court. Name changes that are not formal are not allowed and won’t be recognized legally.
The process starts by the filing of a petition to change the name of a child. This must be completed in the county in which the child resides. This means that you cannot receive a name change from any judge from any county The child must fulfill the residency requirement for living within the county.
The conditions of the petition itself will request essential information about the name change such as the motive behind the request for a name change as well as the reasons why the name change is warranted and the “new” named requested and also inform the court if there have been any court orders that have been issued previously involving the child whose name you wish to change.
How Much Does it cost?
Name changes aren’t cost-free, there is no fixed price for how much the process will be. This is due to the fact that every county has a distinct filing cost. It is recommended to call the district clerk’s office within the county in which you are planning to file in to determine the exact amount. However, many attorneys have that information at their disposal.
If you can’t pay for an attorney who can represent you on a name change case or not able to represent yourself solely as a pro se which means without legally-authorized representations, then you can make a statement of inability to pay court Costs. You’ll need to demonstrate the need for costs to be removed.
What If I have a minor modification?
There are situations that a parent might have a small mistake on the birth certificate, like mistakes with the spelling of the child’s middle, first or even last name. I’ve spoken with some who believe that, even the slightest changes made it is necessary an order from a judge to correct the mistakes.
However, this isn’t true. Minor changes can be corrected with an amendment to the birth certificate. This is done by filling out the form VS-170 and sending the form to Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Consent for Name Changes
The next important step in the process of changing names is consent. It means that at least or both parties needs to give their consent to a name change.
In the beginning, it’s the most efficient and cost-effective way for parents to come to an agreement on changing the names of their children. If you’re one of the parents with a petition to change the name of your child then you must inform the other parent that the change in name has been made. The only way around this is in the event that the court’s order has legally ended one parents’ parental rights. In this case the other parent will not be required to notify the name change, but they will have to meet with any additional conservator or guardian appointed by the court.
If you need to inform the other parent and then agree to make the request jointly and give their consent. But, things get more complex and expensive when one parent is not in agreement. In this case the other parent would require to be served the petition for change of name through a constable sheriff or private process server. In these situations it is recommended to get an experienced lawyer working with a process-server. This applies to any parent who is required to sign a legal notice regardless of whether the other parent isn’t included on the child’s birth certificate.
What Does my Child Need to agree?
In the case of a minor younger than 10 years old, the court does not need the child’s explicit consent to changing their name. However, if you’ve got an adult child who is older than 10 years old, they need to agree to the change in name themselves in order to get it. In most cases, if the child has written permission, their name change is granted without the objection of a parent.
Keep in mind that any court decision that involves children is always focused on matters that are in the “best interests for children.” There are certain elements to consider in name changes as determined in the Texas Supreme Court as well as other appellate courts within Texas. A few of these factors include: whether the name change can help the child avoid embarrassing, anxiety, or discomfort or inconvenience. Also, if the child has been using that name for a lengthy period and what their relationship with it, and so on. There are numerous things to think about when courts decide to change the identity of a child.
I’m not sure where the other parent is?
If you want to send an official notice to other parent regarding changing their name, but you aren’t sure where they live it is possible to do so through the media, such as an online newspaper, a paper and so on. In this case the parent who is not aware of the change must be represented by the use of an Attorney Ad Litem, which the parent who is filing the petition has to employ. This is also the case for parents who don’t know who the parents of their children is. An attorney ad litem is required along with a service publication.