Monday, March 08, 2010

Name Changes

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute"

Are you thinking of changing your name or your child’s name? You might have a good reason to do so as a result of divorce, marriage or child custody. But avoiding debt or the IRS is not a good reason under the law. In California, obtaining a name change is rather simple but it helps to know what is involved. The name change application must be filed with Superior Court. If filing for a child’s name change, the parents or legal guardian must submit the application. The application- or what’s called a petition – must state the person’s birthplace, residence, the new proposed name and the reason for the change. About four to eight weeks after the petition is filed, the court calls a hearing to determine whether the name change should be granted. The court gives the public an opportunity to object to the name change. This is done by the court publicizing its order for a period of four weeks. The publication is often in the local paper. A divorced spouse will usually object when the name change is for a child and that change was initiated by the other spouse. If no objections are made, however, the court grants the order and approves the new name.