Name change actions become necessary in family law for several reasons.
First if the wife does not request that her maiden name be restored during the initial dissolution action and later desires to do so, she will be required to file a Name Change action.
Also, parents, at times want to have the minor child’s name changed, or have the entire family’s name changed.
There are also occasions when a person simply desires, after adulthood, to have their own name changed (whether it is first, middle or last name).
If you are attempting to change the name of a child, it generally requires the consent of both parents.
Absent consent, the court will have to find that the name change is in the child’s best interest.
Proving, over the objection of one parent, that the name change is in the child’s best interest, can be quite difficult, and a lawyer should be consulted before attempting to do so.
With any name change (except one restoring the Wife’s maiden name at the time of the divorce), the party whose name will be changed is required to have fingerprinting done and a background check is performed.
When there is no party contesting to the name change, the process can be fairly simply.
The party requesting the name change will file a Petition for Name Change and file it with the Court.
Then the party will be required to be fingerprinted. Once the fingerprints results are received by the Court, a final hearing can be set.
Even when all parties consent an attorney can make the process run smoothly by e-filing the case, providing the information for the fingerprinting, ensuring the clerk receives the results of the fingerprinting, setting and attending the final hearing and preparing all the necessary documents.
The general requirements for a name change include the person requesting the name change to…
- (a) currently reside in Florida
- (b) reside in the county where the name change is filed
- (c) have no ulterior or illegal purposes for requesting the name change
- (d) not have their civil rights currently suspended
To assess these issues, the Court often considers if there have been any bankruptcies or judgments, if there are past/present criminal issues; any professional licenses revoked, etc.
If you have any of these issues, you should consult an attorney to discuss your possibility of success in your request for a name change.
The law governing name changes can be found under Florida Statute 68.07.