LEGAL NAME CHANGE
HOW DO I LEGALLY CHANGE MY NAME IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA?
To obtain a legal name change in Florida, for reasons other than for marriage (and divorce, where the final order does not reinstate the parties prior name) an applicant must submit a petition to their county court. Florida residents may seek to have their name changed for legal reasons, such as marriage, divorce, or adoption, or for more personal reasons like to make their names easier to pronounce or spell or because they simply do not like the name(s) they were given. To complete your legal name change, the applicant must contact their local law enforcement and arrange to have fingerprints taken in order to obtain state and federal background checks. When requesting a legal name change, you may change any part of your name, all of your names, the spelling of your name, or even the order of your name. An adult who has sole parental responsibility, or two consenting parents who have shared parental responsibility, can together petition the court to change the name of a minor child. If the petition is presented by only one parent, the Petitioner must give notice of the action to the other parent, thereby giving the other parent the opportunity to object, in which case there would be a hearing scheduled for the matter.
Filing to Petition for a Legal Name Change can be a lengthy and expensive process. If you plan on becoming a citizen soon, you may hold off on your legal name change, as it can be done as part of the citizenship process at no additional cost. If you want a change of name because of a dissolution of marriage or adoption of child(ren) that is not yet final, the change of name should be requested as part of that case. A marriage certificate or divorce decree serves as legal justification for a name change and can be used to notify the appropriate Florida government agencies of your new name, including the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Office, without the need to petition the court. An attorney is recommended, though not necessary to petition the court for a legal name change, because of the procedural requirements of filing the correct paperwork and scheduling and attending a court hearing.
Attorney Peterkin is proud to offer name change services to Florida Residents. Contact us at 321-325-1125 or leave us a message to schedule your case evaluation.