Gainesville Personal Injury, Divorce and Alimony Attorney

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01/10/2014
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Name Change

Name Change

Your moniker is one of the first impressions you make. It is important that your name represents you. Florida provides a pathway to legally change your name to just about anything you want, for any reason. Our office has helped clients change their names for a number of reasons. Although marriage and divorce are the most common, we have seen an uptick in name changes for a variety of other reasons, including religious, cultural, and for self-identification purposes. Culturally, individuals with a religiously inspired or a difficult-to-pronounce name may feel discriminated against. For the others, a name change can be a significant steppingstone on the path to identity and acceptance. No matter your reason, our office can assist you in obtaining a legal name change.

Most Common Reasons for Name Changes in Florida:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Match gender identity
  • Religious
  • Avoid discrimination
  • Personal reasons
  • Minor Name Change
  • Just because you want to so long as there is not an intent to defraud or infringe on others.

Legal Process

Any court proceeding can be a very tedious and intimidating process on your own. A Family Name Change Lawyer who has familiarity with the requirements gives you peace of mind that everything will be done correctly so that the client may assume their new identity as quickly as possible. We cover all aspects from start to finish, providing you with a hassle-free name change.

Minor (Change) Name change

Whenever a minor is involved, the process is a bit more complex. You must have written consent from the other parent unless you are filing together (both parents). If the other parent does not consent to the name change, the case becomes contested, and a judge may or may not decide to grant the name change.

What you Cannot Do

There are a few key things to note when you want to change your name. They are more common sense than restrictive in nature. You cannot petition the court for a name change if you have ulterior motives or illegal intentions. You cannot infringe on celebrity names or trademarks either, so hopes of being the next Slim Shady are off the table.

Costs

As with any court process, costs and fees are associated with having your name legally changed. Here are a few expenses you should expect:
  • Filing fees
  • Fingerprinting
  • Background check
  • Postage for certified mailings

Welcome to Your New Name

Once a name is legally changed a person must update all of the various documents independently. At a minimum, updating a social security card and state-issued ID. The following list is helpful for tracking other documents that will require an update:
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s License / State issued identification
  • Citizenship and immigration documentation, such as passport or visa
  • Voter registration card
  • Payroll and administration records from your workplace or school
  • Military or veteran records
  • Licensing boards and associations
  • Financial institutions, including banks, lenders, credit unions, credit cards, investment companies/ brokerages, and retirement or pension accounts
  • Legal documentation and accounts for real estate or personal property such as deeds, mortgages, or lease agreements
  • Any legal documents, including those where you are listed as an agent or trustee, such as a Last Will and Testament, Living Trust or Power of Attorney
  • Insurance documents, including auto insurance, home or renters’ insurance, and life insurance
  • Bills, including utilities and subscriptions

Name Change FAQ:

  1. Do I have to tell the other parent about my request to change my child’s name? A: Yes. Unless the co-parent is deceased or has had their rights terminated, you are under obligation to notify them.
  2. If I randomly want to get my name changed, can I? (Without marriage or divorce) A: Yes! As long as it is not for dishonest or fraudulent reasons, you can change your name and to just about anything you want. Keep in mind that celebrity names and obscenities are off the table, but just about everything else is okay. So, if you want to change your name to “Caveman Hammerhead Machinegun,” that’s who you will be and we can help you do it.
  3. How long does this process take? A: Having your name legally changed can take several weeks only because Florida requires certain things before setting a hearing, such as fingerprints and background checks.
  4. Can a registered sex offender or predator get a name change? A: Yes; however, when the judge issues a final judgment for the name change, you have 2 days to update your name with the Department of Law Enforcement. The clerk of court will send a copy of the final judgment to the Department of Law Enforcement within 5 days of the final judgment.

Let the Attorneys at Alba & Straile PLLC Handle Your Legal Name Change

We are committed to helping clients with all family legal matters, including the legal changing of a name. We gather all the appropriate information and provide personal, focused, and outstanding services to each client. To hire a lawyer for a name change, please click, call, text (352) 371-9141 or fill out the form.