How Do I Change My Child’s Last Name?

Change your child’s last name by getting a court order, called a Decree Changing Name.  When you show the school a Certified Copy of that Decree, they will change their records to show your child’s name exactly the way you want it.  A judge has to approve it all and sign your court order, but you can do it.  You just have to start the process, do it all correctly, and finish it.

You can do more than one child in a single Petition for Change of Name.  And, the name change costs and process are the same per child, whether you want to change one letter of one name or every letter of every name.  Once you get the court order, you can change your child’s social security records, all identification including their birth certificate if born in California.



Your Child's School Administrator will accept the superior court order
'decree Changing Name; to change your child's records

Get the court forms from the Superior Court in the county where your children live now, or have a professional service help you for a small fee.  You can even ask for the court costs to be waived if you can’t afford them.  This isn’t easy to do, or free.  But you can do it.  It’s important.


DOWNLOAD: Busy Person's Guide to NAME CHANGE

Download it to your computer and read the short answers about Name Change when you want.




Name Change California FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Child NAME CHANGE in California.

How does a Court Decreed Name Change work?

  1. Prepare your Name Change Petition for Court filing. Our EZ NAME CHANGE Questionnaire helps you do that in 7-15 minutes online. All the forms your court requires, with all the copies needed to complete the whole process, will be in your hands for court filing within a few days.
  2. File the Petition (child change name forms) in the correct Court and get your hearing date. We provide you with the correct court information and that court’s procedures for where you live.  Our instructions will walk you through it, step-by-step.
  3. Give Notice: You’ll give notice to the general public and required private individuals, if any. We’ll give you all the paperwork you need, easy-to-follow instructions, information and guidance for it all. Here’s a link to more information about giving the required legal notices and the California Law (CCP 1277a) about giving Change Child Name legal notices
  4. Get your Change Child Name COURT ORDER. At (or sometimes before) the hearing, you’ll receive your signed Decree Changing Name or other Court Order. We’ll give you guidelines, instructions and filled out forms for completing this step in your local court. On this day, remember to smile! You did it!
  5. Get a Certified Copy of your Change Child Name COURT ORDER and get Your Child’s Records Changed. This is what the school will want to see to change your Child’s name registration records, and the same goes for social security, passports, etc. It’s official! Use it and let others know. Give notice to all your important relationships and connections. We’ll give you a handy checklist with contact information for the most important ones.

What are the costs?


$115.00** is our charge to prepare your child’s completed Petition (with all copies for filing), provide you easy-to-follow instructions and all the information you need to get Your Child’s Name Change COURT ORDER. If you’re changing names for more than one Child, there are additional Petition charges per child, then we can combine them all on your court forms to save a lot of money on court filing, newspaper, and Certified Copy charges.

** For detailed information about all costs to get a change child name COURT ORDER, including all court costs, click here

How long does it take?


It will take you 15 minutes or less to complete our questionnaire.

You’ll have your complete, Ready-To-File or Full Service Petition package within days.

It will take about 6-12 weeks from the day your Change Child Name Petition is filed until the day you receive your Decree Changing Name. It can take longer if the courts are backed up or if you have problems in your Petition information.

Why should I use


We’re California Name Change Specialists and do a lot of Child Change Name Petitions. We’re passionate about helping people legally get their Child’s Name Changed to exactly the way they want it. We’re the only 5-Star Rated Name Change Service in California and the only one with a Full Service option

Our online Questionnaire (“Start My Name Change Now”) took 2 years to develop and lets you get your Petition going in just 20 minutes or less.  In a few days you’ll get a ready-to-file, properly prepared Change Child Name Petition for an industry low $115 charge (comparison: LegalZoom $139+; lawyer $499++).  And, you’ll also get everything you need to get the Court Order to change all your child’s important records

Your access to us is whenever you want, by phone or email.  Our Court Information is current and personalized to Your Name Change in Your County and Your Superior Court.

We think Your Child’s Legal Name Change is a big deal! … and worth every letter of it!

When you have enough information, Let us help you get started!

Can I get turned down?


Yes. However, almost all Child Change Name Petitions are approved. The main reasons why a Petition might be denied are:

  1. Your paperwork is inaccurate, incomplete, or reveals you or your child to be ineligible
  2. Someone lodges an objection and then your judge decides not to grant your Petition.
  3. The judge believes that granting the Petition would achieve an improper result (i.e., defraud someone, cause harm, likely to incite violence, trade on the name of a famous person, improperly hide a criminal past, etc.). See California’s Name Change laws about this at CCP 1275-1279.5

I have other questions.

For other Change Child Name information or for information about other types of Court Order Name Changes, see other articles on this page. Or, please feel free to contact us with your email or phone call questions



To Honor a Relative or Friend
My child doesn’t want the other parent’s last name
To let my child have an Americanized name
To let my child have an Americanized name
My child doesn’t like having a different last name than mine
I’m remarried and we all want my child to share our new family name
My child hates his/her name…really hates it
I’m tired of arguing with school, doctors and insurance, etc.
I want to turn the page on bad memories and associations for us
And the number 1 reason why people Change Names is…
My child’s last name and my last name should be the same