valid reasons for child name change

Changing your family name after marriage, separation or divorce. A child’s legal name will be the name on their birth certificate which is used for legal, administrative and official purposes. The key to making an argument to change a child’s name is to present the legal reasons for the change and show a judge that it is in the best interests of the child. For example, the child has been known by the given name for a significant period of time and not changing the child's registered … In general, common law jurisdictions have loose procedures for a name change while civil law jurisdictions are more restrictive. The mother petitioned the Supreme Court for permission to change the child’s surname by hyphenating the father’s surname with the mother’s surname. After finalizing the adoption, the last name of the child is legally changed to match that of the adopting family. Valerie Stevens is a professional writer and editor based in the Carolinas. As a result, the father might request a name change for the child, who might have the mother's maiden name or another last name of the mother's choosing. Most states and judges require that both parents agree before they will change a child's name. The court can authorize a change of name for a child in the case of abandonment by the father or mother, in the case of deprivation of parental authority or in the case of a change of filiation, for example by adoption. The most common reasons for name changes include marriage or divorce. The reason the petitioning parent states for the proposed change; The motive of the petitioning parent and the possibility the child's use of a different name will cause insecurity or a lack of identity; The difficulty, harassment, or embarrassment the child may experience if the child bears a surname different than that of the custodial parent; Reasons for a Name Change. Here are some of the most popular reasons people decide to change their names. It is important to recognize that after a name change, you are still the same person. Perhaps they'd prefer something more unique than Britney or Ashley or something less unique than a homespun name that combined parents' names. Changing your child's name. The standard most courts apply when making decisions about changing a child’s name is that the change should be in the best interests of the child. The degree of respect associated with the current and proposed names also can be a factor. To change a child’s name, you must start a separate case in district court. Why you might want to change your name. Often if one of the child’s parents is absent from the child’s life, the child will not have a strong connection to the name and hence, the child may request a name change of his/her own accord.   A judge would decide whether or not to grant a child’s request. The easiest way to convince a judge is to point to the factors put forth in state laws that support the request. How do I change my name by court order? If any of the children are 14 or older, each child must complete a consent. You must clearly present reasons to the court in a written petition, oral arguments or both. If the Name Change is for a child and one parent formally objects, the judge has a harder decision. Their new name has to consist of one surname and one or more other names. But he did add to it. Dislike Current Name. What you can change your child’s name to. Judges will consider whether a child could suffer embarrassment by having a different name from the rest of his family. Psychologists or other experts can also be used to bolster your argument. Valid reasons for a name change may include professional reasons, in honor of a deceased loved one or the parents simply changed their mind after legally naming the child and would like to have their preferred selection legally recognized. Child's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf) Child's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf fillable) Order for Child's Name Change - required. To argue for the name change of a minor child, you must address the factors considered by the court. A pseudonym is a name used in addition to the original or true name. Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a new name different from their current name.. I changed my name as fast as I legally could.” ― Brooke C. Because I Was Sick Of Being Teased About My ‘Hippie’ Name “I changed my first name when I was over 40 years old. Consult with the child's other parent. In a closed or open adoption, the child enters the home bearing the last name of either their birth mother or birth father. 1. To register a change of name for your child (under 18 years) both parents must complete the application. Changing your child's name is a significant personal choice for you and your child. If the other parent will not agree, you may still ask the court for a change and explain your reasons at a hearing. If a mother with sole custody divorces the natural father and remarries, a judge is likely to favor changing the child’s surname to that of the stepfather if other factors support the change. The name change process varies from state to state. The general consensus is that a child should have the same name as the family he lives with. However typical reasons people change their name … Also if a parent remarries and a stepparent is adopting a child, both the child's parent and the stepparent can request a name change in court. If a change of name is approved, the new name as indicated on the legal change of name document will be recorded as the primary name in IRCC’s system of record and will be the name that appears on any new document(s) issued by IRCC. The length of time a child has used a certain name also factors into his identity within the community. In general, however, any lawful reason that does not violate any state laws or infringe upon the rights of anyone else typically satisfies most courts, whether that reason be for religious, personal or social reasons. Note for residents of Allegheny or Lancaster Counties: Our documents are designed to meet state requirements for requesting a name change. You don't need to have any kind of valid reason to change your name, so long as it is not for any fraudulent purpose, such as avoiding paying a debt or fulfilling an obligation — you are free to change your name at any time. Each child 12-18 must also sign in Part 2A - Child's Consent. Find out what you need to do to have your new married name recognised or change your name back to your previous name. The fact that a child is known to schools and doctors by a certain name could contribute to a decision to keep that name. When a family adopts a child, changing the child's last name to match that of the family just makes sense. You must clearly present reasons to the court in a written petition, oral arguments or both. Do Minors Need Parental Permission Under the Pennsylvania Name Change Laws? Lawyers suggest beginning with your strongest argument and sticking to the reasons that have a factual basis without clouding your presentation with irrelevant statements. These reasons could be for adoption, domestic violence, and more. A parent might request a name change for a minor child to protect the child from potential harm. A judge would give strong consideration to this request, as the court's main concern is the best interests of the child. To argue in favor of a name change, you must show that the change will preserve the family unit. If you have religious, philosophical or cultural reasons to have only one name, you need to include a letter of explanation with your application. For each child 12 to 18 years of age A letter handwritten in ink by your child(ren) providing his/her reasons for wanting a change of name. A name change may not be allowed if the court thinks that the change might affect the rights of another person such as a creditor or the other parent of the child. Have each child sign and date his/her letter. Deciding on a name Most names can be registered but not all. Pennsylvania Name Change Requirements. However, most modern courts consider a specific list of factors in determining what is best for the child, as opposed to the parents, when ruling on name changes. Regardless, her name change was motivated by simplification. Parent's Consent to Child's Name Change (pdf fillable) A child age 14 or older must consent to their own name change. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions. Depending on how the birth parent and t… In a divorce petition, when a women requests to return to her maiden name, she can request a separate petition to request her child's name change too. A name change request can come about simply because a person doesn't like his or her name as given at birth. See “How Do I get a Court Ordered Name Change for a Minor”, below. For example, if a child is known by the surname of a father who has been convicted of serious crimes, the argument can be made that the child would be better off using another name. At a hearing on the petition, the mother testified that during her pregnancy, she and the father “discussed” the child having both parties’ last names. The child had the surname of the father (Pappel) and the mother applied to have the child’s name changed to her new husband’s last name (Bergen). The specific guidelines courts take into consideration vary from state to state, but the overriding factor in determining the best interest of the child is determining what fosters the natural bond between the child and his parents and maintains family unity. A father who might have been absent for a child's earlier years might return to a child's life and develop a strong bond with the child. Debrina Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. Your birthdate and place of birth. It must state all of these: Your current legal name and the name you want. One parent can apply alone if: they are the only parent named on the child’s birth certificate or; the other parent is deceased or; a court has specifically approved the new name for the child. Bolster your argument child, courts take a similar approach of your child 's best of. 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