Requesting A Name Change Through The Florida Family Court
The names we are given often reflect where we are from, our ancestors, or our ethnic heritage. Having a ‘good’ name, reflecting strong family bonds and free of blemish or scandal, was important in the past, and it can still influence both your personal and professional life today. While changing your name was once something only sought by celebrities or those with something to hide, today it is a fairly common practice. Whether you are seeking a name change for yourself or on behalf of a child whom you have adopted, our Florida family law attorney can help guide you through the process, saving you from potential hassles that could drag out what is otherwise a fairly simple process.
Requirements for A Legal Name Change
Some people have names that are difficult to spell or pronounce, or have negative connotations that have proven embarrassing over the years. Others begin going by other names as a matter of either business or personal taste, rejecting their given name in favor of one they feel suits them better. For people who have adopted a child, changing their last name to match yours may be an additional way of reflecting your devotion, as well as their status of an official part of the family.
Whatever your unique reasons, under Section 68.07 of the Florida State Statutes, residents of the state are afforded the right to change their names legally, simply by filing a petition with the court and following the appropriate procedures. Name change applicants, and those filing on behalf of minor children, are required to submit to fingerprinting to prove identity, as well as criminal history and background checks to ensure the persons who name is being changed is not doing so to avoid prosecution for a crime or elude repercussions in criminal or civil matters. Other information you will be required to submit to the court includes the following:
- Verification of Florida residency;
- Your birthdate, place of birth, and your birth parent’s names;
- Previous names you may have gone by in the past;
- Previous marriages and married names you may have used;
- Information regarding past criminal arrests or convictions;
- Financial judgments made against you, including liens or bankruptcies filed either by or against you;
- Information on your occupation and any businesses you own or have owned in the past.
This information will be presented to a judge at a formal hearing, and provided you meet the requirements, the judge will make a ruling allowing the change. Your name change order will then allow you to move forward in changing your official documents, such as social security card, passport, and driver’s license. Your new legal name may then be used in an official capacity in all financial matters and business transactions, including for tax purposes, loan applications, and background checks.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you are considering a name change for yourself or on behalf of a child, contact the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC today. Anytime you are dealing with potentially complicated court matter, it helps to have a strong legal advocate on your side. Our experienced Florida family law attorney can help guide you through the legal process, making sure you have the appropriate documents and supporting evidence to ensure your case is resolved in the most expedient manner.