Obermayer's Family Law attorneys help clients complete and submit all the necessary documents to facilitate a name change for themselves or their child.Print to PDF
Many adults who are getting divorced choose to retake and reuse their prior name or maiden name. The procedure for doing this is fairly simple.
Changing a child’s name, however, is more complicated. A request to change a child’s name is within the discretion of the court and may be changed if it is proven that the proposed name is in the child’s best interests.
We ensure that at the final divorce hearing, an individual is able to resume his or her previous last name (or the last name of his or her choosing). We also assist clients obtain a last name change for a minor or for themselves if they are over 18 years old, outside of the divorce process.
Our attorneys are trained to ask at the outset of a case whether a name change is something that the client is seeking on his or her behalf or on behalf of a minor. For name change cases involving minors, we thoroughly explain the law to our clients and review with them their chances of success.
Some clients cannot wait to resume their former names, while others are hesitant because they have made a life for themselves with their spouse’s last name or because they do not want a different last name from their children. Even in the divorce context, however, a name change may not be granted if the client’s purpose in seeking a name change is questionable. For example, the client may be seeking a name change to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution. Before filing any such application, we will review this law with the client to ensure that his or her motives are sound.
Unless both parents agree, a minor child cannot change his or her last name without the court’s permission. The standard is whether the name change is in the “best interests” of the child. Obermayer’s Family Law attorneys understand precisely which arguments to make in order to prove that a name change is (or is not) in the best interests of a particular child.
We will review with our clients the pros and cons of changing their last name or the name of a child. While a name change after a divorce is liberally granted by the court, it is not as simple when it comes to the change of a minor child’s name. We will help our client decide whether it would be best to move forward with the name change of the minor during his or her minority or simply encourage the child to file a name change application on his or her own upon reaching the age of majority.
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