Your name is an important part of your identity and there are many reasons for wanting to change your name. Name change, because of a divorce, is one reason that quickly comes to mind. There are also other personal reasons for a name change. For example, it is a name that you’ve always used, you want to protect your family heritage, or your name is hard to pronounce. The name change process is different for those who want to change their name because of a divorce compared to those who want to do so for other personal reasons.
Name Change Due to Marriage or Divorce
To change your name in Florida, you will need a “certified name change document.” An official copy of your marriage certificate accomplishes this goal. You will submit this document to the Social Security Administration first and then to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Social Security office will issue a new social security card with your married name. Similarly, the DMV will update your driver’s license or Florida Identification Card with your new name.
In the event that your marriage doesn’t work and you want to revert to your maiden name or a previous legal name, you will do this during the divorce process. A good family law attorney, like Cheryl Fletcher, will state your desire for a name change in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. There is no need to pay additional filing fees for the name change portion of your divorce. The judge will change your name, when you appear in-person, at the final hearing for your divorce.
Name Change for Other Reasons
If your reason for a name change is not related to a divorce, the process will be different. You with start with a Florida Petition for Change of Name of an Adult and pay the appropriate filing fee. You will be required to :
- Submit your fingerprints; and
- Attend one mandatory court appearance, in person
To get your request for a name change granted, you will have to prove that:
- You are not seeking a name change for an illegal purpose;
- You are not trying to avoid creditors; and
- You are not trying to avoid any arrests.
If you have minor children and want their names changed as well, you will have to file a separate Petition for Name Change and both parents must consent to it.
We Will Help You Understand the Name Change Process
For additional questions regarding a Name Change, please feel free to contact our office at 561-507-5772 and speak with Attorney Cheryl Fletcher. Mrs. Fletcher has assisted numerous clients who wanted to change their names because of a marriage, divorce, or for other personal reasons.
Name Change FAQs
The specific requirements for a name change that is not a part of a divorce or adoption case are:
- You will need to be at least 18 years;
- You must be a legal Florida resident; and
- You must also be willing to submit your fingerprints for a state and national criminal history background check.
You file it in the county where you are a resident.
A name change petition could be denied if your reasons for doing so are:
- To avoid creditors;
- To invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, or trademark;
- For an illegal purpose or ulterior motive; or
- To avoid arrests
No. After a name change petition has been granted, you are responsible from providing the different agencies with a certified copy of the judgement so that they can update their records. There could be delays in disbursing your benefits if you do not comply in a timely manner.
The process is relatively short and can be done in less than 2 months. You have to wait for the results of your criminal background check before the case can proceed to a final hearing.
Both parents must consent to the name change of a minor but if one parent objects, the judge can still grant the request, as long as it is in the best interests of the child. There is no similar requirement for adults requiring a name change.
Yes. There is no requirement to publish notice of a pending name change petition, so persons with an objection may not be aware of the case. The court has an independent duty to decide whether a name change is consistent with public interest and a reasonable objection may influence the court’s decision.