At the FAAN, our attorneys understand that people are seeking to change their names for a variety of reasons, including privacy concerns, divorce, fraud, or just seeking to put the past behind them and get a fresh start. Whatever your impetus may be to obtain a legal name change, you can count on our legal team to competently guide you and treat your matter with sensitivity.
Common Reasons For a Name Change
When considering the reasons for changing one’s legal name, marriage is almost certainly what comes to mind. However, there exist a myriad of reasons why one might request a name change, including the protection of privacy, religious affiliation, gender identification, an absent parent, or even just the simple dislike of one’s current name. Whatever the reasoning, understanding the legal process behind changing a name is essential to the success of your petition.
How To Change Your Name in NYC
In the State of New York name change petitions can be filed in either the County or Supreme courts, or in New York County Civil court. A proper name change petition will be accompanied by a Proposed Order, which documents those items relevant to the court in regard to the name change. This order should disclose the following: The reasoning behind the change of legal name, any prior convictions against yourself under the current name, any judgements against yourself (including those pertaining to bankruptcy), information regarding any pending lawsuits you are involved in, and any child support payments you are responsible for. It is important to note that this order must be completed in the presence of Notary Public.
Additional Requirements for Name Change in NYC
In addition to the submission of a petition, many courts may require additional steps be taken. It is likely that the court will request you provide some proof of birth via the presentation of a certified birth certificate. The court may also require that proof of name change be published in a newspaper within 20 days of the filing. Keep in mind that there will likely be costs for this publication in addition to the fees submitted to the court for filing. It is also possible that the court request you to notify certain parties of a legal name change, such as spouses, U.S. Identification and Immigration services, or the New York Criminal Justice system. It is important to note that all legal name changes are entered in to the public record unless otherwise requested. If you are undergoing the process of a legal name change to protect your identity, you need to request that your request be sealed and thus avoid it becoming public knowledge.
Changing the Name of a Child in New York City
If you are seeking to change the name your child under the age of 17, the legal process will require some extra consideration. In addition to the petition and Proposed order, written permission from both biological parents is required to be provided to the court. In the case where one parent is absent, an attempt to locate and notify them of the name change must be made and submitted to the judge for consideration. In deciding whether to grant a child’s legal name change a judge will weigh many factors, including the nature of the child's parental relationships, how long they have had their current name, and whether or not the name change would affect the child’s life in any adverse manner.
Name Change Lawyer in New York
Regardless of the reason for the name change, clear communication and proper execution of any legal documents is vital to the success of your petition. It can be of great benefit to have a legal professional to advise and guide you through the process and ensure that your reasoning is appropriately articulated to the court.
We offer affordable flat fee assistance throughout New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Manhattan. For suffolk county, nassau county, westchester, and other areas, call us for a quote.