There are multiple reasons why a parent may want to obtain a new name for their child. No matter what reason a parent has for a child name change, there is a process you will need to go through to obtain a new name for your child. In this blog, we will cover how to change a child's last name and how to change your last name in Florida if you are an adult as well.
How to Change a Child's Last Name
Before you can begin the process of changing your child's name, it is important to know that if your child was not born in Florida, you must first check with the Department of Health from the state they were born in to update their birth certificate.
If your child was born in Florida, the first step you must take is to file a petition for a name change with the court for your child. You will also be fingerprinted so that a state and federal criminal background check can be run on you. This fingerprint card will then be attached to your petition for name change. Once this has been submitted, you will then be scheduled for a hearing.
In some cases, both child's parents consent to the name change and live in the country where the name change is occurring. If both parents are consenting to the name change, the process is straightforward. In other cases, only one parent may live in the country where the name change is being sought or only one parent is filing for the name change. If this is the case, the other parent must be notified of the name change and the parent filing the petition for name change must get the other parent's consent. In case one parent is absent, you will still need to go through the process of publishing a notice in a local paper in the area of the last known resident of the absent parent. In the case one parent is contesting the name change, and both parents appear at the hearing, the judge will hear both parents' arguments. If the judge grants the name change, you will want to get several certified copies of the order to make the name change official on various identification documents for the child.
Finally, you will want to update all official documents for the child with their new name. In order to update a child's birth certificate in Florida with a new name, you first need to fill out an application for amendment to Florida birth record. Next, you will then need to fill out an Affidavit of Amendment of Certificate of Live Birth and get this signed and notarized. You should then mail all of the above documents and your certified copy of the official name change from the court to the Florida Department of Health.
How to Change Your Last Name in Florida
There are various reasons why adults would also want to get a name change such as going through a divorce, changing the name after marriage, or just generally disliking their name. Like the above process, if as an adult you are looking to change their name you will need to sign and complete a Florida Name Change Petition before a public notary and get your fingerprints taken as well. Once you have a hearing, a judge will ask you some simple questions and, if they grant the name change, they will sign the Florida Name Change Judgement. You then need to file this with the Clerk of Court's Office and obtain certified copies of the judgement.
Please note, even though the judgement gives you the right to change your name, you will then need to contact the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles to change important documents like your social security card and driver's license. In Florida, you can have your maiden's name restored in a judgement of Dissolution of Marriage.
If you are interested in changing your or your child's name and want quality, legal advice you can trust, look no further than Family Matters Law Group. Our skilled attorneys at Family Matters Law Group take each case individually and provide our clients with the patience and understanding necessary to properly manage their individual needs and goals and provide tailored solutions to that individual family's legal and emotional needs. Click here to get in touch today.