Name Change of a minor child in Texas.
Sometimes, people change the name of their child for their protection. Other times, a parent may feel that they made the wrong name choice. A request for name change is most common in divorce suit; a mother may decide that she does not want her child to have the last name of her abusive spouse. The name change must be in the interest of the child.
The steps to changing the name of a minor child is simple, as long as the change is not for criminal reasons or fraudulence.
If the name change is in the divorce petition, the judge will address it in the final divorce decree. However, if the name change is not related to a divorce, the process is different.
The Process for Name Change in Texas
- First, gather the child’s documents, including birth certificate and social security card.
- Second, file a petition for name change in court. You will be required to pay filing fee; if you cannot afford the fee, you can fill out a Statement of Inability to Pay with the court. The judge may set a hearing to assess your income and financial abilities.
- In accordance with the Texas Family Code Chapter 45, your petition must include: (a) the current name and place of residence of the child; (b) the reason a change of name is requested; (c) the full name requested for the child; (d) whether the child is subject to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court; and (e) whether the child is a registered sex offender.
- Also, if the child is older than ten years old, you will need the child’s consent.
- The parents or legal guardian(s) of the child must fill out and sign a verification form. It is called ‘verified’ because it has to be notarized.
- Citation is a very important process. If one of the parents opposes the change, you have to notify him/her of your petition through service of process. Otherwise, the other parent whose right has not been terminated can waive citation.
- Next, request a hearing date from the court clerk.
- Lastly, file an Order Granting Name Change and take copies of the documents in step 1 with you, along with 2 copies of the filed petition and verification.
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