Our names are how we identify ourselves. Most people are assigned a name at birth, but over the course of their lives, events may occur that inspire them to seek another moniker, such as marriage, divorce, or a determination of paternity. It is important for those seeking name changes to understand the requirements and proper procedure; otherwise, it can cause unnecessary delays and denials. Therefore, it is advisable for them to seek legal counsel before embarking on the process. If you wish to change your name or the name of your child, the dedicated Dallas name change lawyers of McClure Law Group can inform you of your rights and obligations and aid you in seeking an efficient and seamless modification.Name Changes in Marriage and Divorce
People seeking to take their spouse’s name or to hyphenate their names following marriage can merely seek a name change via the marriage certificate without needing court intervention. The person seeking the change must then pay the associated fee, and the marriage certificate must then be filed in the county clerk’s office. Similarly, people who wish to change their name due to the end of a marriage can request the change through either the divorce petition or answer to the petition. The final divorce decree will then indicate the name change.Adult Name Changes
Other factors may also inspire a desire to seek a name change. Regardless of the reason, an adult seeking a name change must file an Original Petition for Change of Name (Petition) in the county where he or she resides. A name change attorney in Dallas can assist you in learning more about these petitions. Notably, only people over the age of eighteen can seek a name change via this method; children will need to obtain parental permission.
The Petition must include specific information, such as the current name and address of the person seeking the change, the person’s social security number, birth date, sex, and race, and any driver’s license number issued in the past ten years. It must also set forth the person’s requested name and the reason the change is requested. Additionally, it must identify whether the person has been convicted of certain crimes and must include a copy of the person’s fingerprints. In most instances, a person convicted of a felony or required to register as a sex offender cannot obtain a name change, but there are exceptions.
After the Petition is filed, the court will conduct a hearing in which it questions the person seeking the change regarding the information in the petition. A name change lawyer serving clients in Dallas can assist you in preparing for this hearing. If the judge finds the petition to be truthful and approves the name change, it will sign an order granting the modification. The order must then be filed with the county clerk’s office.Changing a Child’s Name
A parent, legal guardian, or conservator can seek to change a child’s name. If both of a child’s parents are living and agree to the name change, they can file a Petition together. If one parent does not agree to the change, the parent seeking the modification must serve the objecting parent with legal notice of the Petition via a process server, sheriff, or constable. Notice must be provided even if only one parent is listed on the birth certificate. Other rules apply if one parent is deceased, missing, or parental rights have been terminated.
The Petition for a child’s name change must state the child’s name and address, the reason for requesting the name and the proposed change, and whether there are any previous court orders pertaining to the child. If the child is ten-years-old or older, the Petition must include his or her written consent to the change. After the petition is filed, and if needed, served, the procedure for obtaining a name change for a child is the same as it is for an adult.Speak with a Dallas Name Change Attorney
Living with a name that no longer feels appropriate can cause stress and frustration. If you are interested in seeking a name change or modifying your child’s name, the experienced lawyers of McClure Law Group can guide you through the legal process of seeking a new name. We have an office in Dallas, and we are available to meet for conferences at our Collin County office in Plano as well. We frequently help people with name changes in Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Richardson, Garland, McKinney, Irving, and Frisco. We also aid people with a variety of family law matters throughout Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Collin, Grayson, and Tarrant Counties. You can contact us at 214.692.8200 or via our online form to set up a conference.