A name change is something we are all familiar with. We know of famous athletes, like Muhammed Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabar, who changed their names for religious reasons. We know of famous celebrities who legally changed their names to match their stage name or following gender reassignment. Prince even changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol!
While most people never think about changing their legal name, there are certain situations that arise where adults may wish to do so. While the most common reason adults wish to change their legal name is marriage or divorce, it is not the only reason. Some people want to legally change their name for safety reasons, career advancement, gender transition or their own religious beliefs.
Once you have arrived at the decision to change your name, regardless of the reason, Orlando Family Team can help. Husband-and-wife team Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S. and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq. work together to help clients throughout Central Florida. We will make your name change simple and stress-free, working with you throughout the entire process. Please give us a call to find out how we can help you change your legal name.
Things You Should Know
First, you can change any part of your name. Whether you want to change your first name, your last name or both, you can change any part of your name to anything you choose.
Second, while the choice of what to call yourself is yours, you must follow a formal legal process if you want your legal name to change. This change will affect all of your legal and government documents. As a result, your driver’s license, passport, tax forms and many others will reflect the new name. The legal process can be more complicated than you might imagine and it is important to do it correctly so you can ensure the government recognizes your new official identity.
The good news is, you do not have to go through the process of changing your name alone, and you don’t have to try to figure out all of the legal technicalities without help. You can turn to Orlando Family Team where husband-and-wife Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq. work together to advocate for clients throughout Central Florida.
In the state of Florida, the process of changing a name can vary based on the reason you wish to alter your name. For example, if you are seeking to change your name as a result of a divorce or adoption of a child and the legal proceedings are not yet final, you can request the name change as part of those legal proceedings.
To legally change your name outside of adoption or divorce, you will need to file a formal petition for a name change in the appropriate court. You will also likely need to undergo a background check, including submitting fingerprints to compare against criminal records on the state and federal level. After completing a background check, you must request a hearing and will likely have to attend that hearing to explain to the judge why you want to change your name. While most people are able to get the change they request, this is not true in all cases and some petitions are denied.
There are several requirements you should be aware of when filing a petition for a name change in Florida, which include the following:
- Residency: You must live in Florida and meet the legal definition of a resident
- Age: You must be at least 18 years old to file a petition as an adult
- Fees: The clerk will collect a fee that you will need to pay in order to file your petition
- Notice: If an interested party exists, you must either gain the consent of that party or publish a formal notice that you intend to change your name.
After a judge approves your petition, you will need to independently take steps to change your name in other areas. This includes getting a new driver’s license, passport and social security card. All agencies will require proof of court approval to obtain identification cards with your new name.
Other places where you will need to change you name include mortgages, leases, house deeds, car titles, insurance, employers, pension or other retirement accounts, banks, credit cards, schools, and any other official accounts.
Keep in mind that you cannot change your name on your birth certificate, even if you obtain a legal name change. You can generally only change minor errors on a birth certificate, such as a spelling or other administrative error.
Contact Our Orlando Name Change Attorney Today
When you want to change your name, you need to get the right legal help to ensure the process is done as efficiently and effectively as possible so you can begin using your new legal name.
You also want to ensure that there are no mistakes or problems which could result in your name change not being granted.
Orlando Family Team can help. Husband-and-wife team Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S. and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq. work together to help clients throughout Central Florida. We will make your name change simple and stress-free, working with you throughout the entirety of the process. Please give us a call to find out how we can help you change your legal name.