Child Name Change - Information, Petition Service

EZ Name Change does Child Name Change Petitions every day. We know how important this is for school, medical issues, family and friends. We know what the court’s require by being in daily communication with them. Most times, there’s a deadline that matters. Don’t waste time and money on trial and error. So, get the information you need to be comfortable. Then let us help you make this happen.

1 or both parents can Petition for a Child Name Change, for 1 or more children. Your Filing must be done correctly for the Superior Court where the child is living now. On this page you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions, about Costs, Time Frames, Courts and Court Forms, etc. Child Name Change Specialists can answer other questions if you don’t see your answers below.  Only EZ Name Change has Full Service for Child Name Change

Getting your Child’s Name Change is a very important event for the growing up years. You need to be sure everything is done right the first time. We get that.

Child Name Change Information and Help – Under 18 Yrs Old

How Does it Work?

Child Name Change ANSWER

For Child Name Change, prepare a collection of Forms, called a Petition for Change of Name. File them with the Civil Unlimited filing clerk in the County Superior Court for where your child lives now. The Court will set a Hearing for Your Name Change. Before that Hearing, you must have a qualified newspaper run a legal notice of the Hearing for 4 consecutive weeks. Your judge gets a confidential criminal history assessment report, and has all your information from the Petition. Usually, if you have everything prepared and processed correctly, the judge approves Your Child’s Name Change at the Hearing. You get your Certified Copy(s) right after you get your signed Decree in the same courthouse. For a fuller explanation of the process, click here

Social Security, School, Passports and other government and financial entities want you to show them a Certified Copy of your Court Order (actually called a Decree Changing Name) when you ask them to Change Your Child’s Name and give you new documents with Your New Legal Name.  You can get an Amended birth certificate by presenting your Certified Court Order to the California Department of Public Health.

How Long Does it Take?

Child Name Change ANSWER

It takes most people 10 to 15 minutes to complete the Questionnaire (Start My Name Change Now menu button).

Then, it usually takes about 6-12 weeks to get your Child Name Change Court Order in your hands. It can take longer if your Petition is done wrong or incomplete, or if the court is clogged.

The court order is effective the moment it’s signed by the judge. The moment you give the school or social security a Certified Copy of your Decree Changing Name, you can expect them to Change Your Child’s Records right then.

It will take just a couple of days to change your Child’s ID and Official Records. If you want to get an Amended birth certificate, that can take another couple of months.

The sooner you start, the sooner it will all be done.

How Much does it cost?


Child Name Change Total is about $715 for Full Service. 

$115 for your completed Name Change Petition and supporting documents. 

$435-$480 for Court Filing. Most courts charge $435 but some charge a bit more. 

$90 for required advertising (usual costs range up to $150, but $90 is a common price). some small population counties in Northern California might be a lot higher.

$75 for our Full Service charge


$35-75 to serve papers on a non-consenting spouse, if needed (single parent Petitions only).   $25.50 for a Certified Copy of your Decree Changing Name

What About Court Fee Waivers?

Child Name Change ANSWER

Courts will waive your court fees if you qualify and complete all the Waiver Request Forms correctly.  All California Name Change Courts allow Child Name Change requests that court fees be waived. Fee Waiver Requests are for people who can’t afford the court fees and also pay their regular monthly household living expenses. The court makes that decision. Submit all the right forms to have the Court consider your Request to Waive Fees. The Court requires a properly completed Petition before they will consider Granting a Request to Waive Court Fees.

EZ Name Change will complete all your Fee Waiver Request Forms, without any extra charges, if we are helping you with your Petition. You just need to let us know you want to apply for Court Fee Waivers. You can see a blank Fee Waiver Form and Order Form here, or use this link to print it out for your own use or review.

How do I know if my ‘Reason’ to Change Names is a good one?

Child Name Change ANSWER

For Child Name Change, your truthful reason is almost certainly good enough. You just need to write it out and put it in the Petition correctly. The valid reasons for name change are almost unlimited. Just put your reason in plain English and it should be fine.

If you are seeking a name change that will cause harm, injury, confusion or fraud, your judge may not Grant your Petition. Court’s won’t likely allow you to get a name that is intended to mislead (such as adopting a celebrity’s name), that is intentionally confusing, or that incites violence. Nor can one adopt, as a name, a racial slur, a threat, or an obscenity.

It’s much more important to get all your Petition documents and processes done right than it is to get your Reason exactly correct. 

What Court Do I Go To For This?

Child Name Change ANSWER

When you complete your Questionnaire, at Start Now, we’ll put you in the exact right court. The California Name Change Laws lay out the basis for choosing the correct court (CCP 1276(a)). There are further electronic systems to access to find out which particular courthouse to use within each county. 

Many people think, wrongly, that you need to file a Name Change Petition where the person was born. That’s not true anywhere in California or anywhere in the US. A Child’s Name Change Petition must be filed in the jurisdiction where that child is living now.

You may need records changed in other places, besides where the child lives now. But you must first get your court order from the local Superior Court. Your Court Order (Decree Changing Name) is honored everywhere in California, throughout the United States and Worldwide.

What do I need to start it?

Child Name Change ANSWER

You just need accurate information: Your Child’s birth information, address, reason for the Name Change, exact current legal name and New Name, basic information about both parents. You will need your credit/debit card information to pay your Petition Preparation charge ($115 per child; $230 for two, etc.) at the end of the questionnaire.

Can I Change My Child’s First or Middle Name, or just the Last Name?

Child Name Change ANSWER

Yes. You can Change any of your Child’s Names through the Legal Name Change Court Petition process. Some people want to Change a single letter of their Child’s Name

Most Parents use Name Change to Change a Child’s Last Name, after marriage or divorce. But you can also Change your Child’s Middle and Last Names, or First and Middle Names, or any combination of your choosing.

What if I have questions that aren’t covered here?

Child Name Change ANSWER

Call us (818 505-6189) or send an email ([email protected]). We love to help and can probably answer any question you might have. We’ve probably answered the same questions for other parents before. If you rather not talk to us directly, look around in this website for articles and links that can tell you everything from exactly how the California Name Change laws read, to which U.S. President Legally changed his name … and everything in between.

If you need to keep the Name Change Petition information secret due to personal safety concerns for Yourself or Your Child, the State of California has a highly confidential program (Safe at Home) for people who need to keep their information secret for personal safety reasons. If you believe your situation requires that type of treatment, we can help you after you’re enrolled with the State of California, Name Change Proceedings Under Confidentiality Program (Safe at Home).

What if I’m divorced or the other parent can’t sign the Petition?

Child Name Change ANSWER

The Name Change process requires that both parents consent about the Name Change, OR a non-consenting parent be given the opportunity to object if possible. That information is an important part of what your judge will review and consider. If the other parent is not alive, or you don’t know his/her contact information, just say so in the places of the questionnaire where those questions are asked. When only one Parent is signing the Petition and the other is living and you have his/her contact information, fill that in so that forms will be prepared to give notice of the process and, when served, he/she will have the opportunity to provide his/her views to the judge (whether he/she does so or not). If you don’t have the contact information, put zeroes in those places.

A custody order will be something your judge will want to know about, if there is a non-consenting parent. If not, it will matter if the non-consenting parent objects to the name change so try and reach agreement if possible.

Often, it’s important to have your child’s name changed and you can’t communicate with the other parent. We have helped MANY parents in that situation, so don’t give up. AND, it will be important to do everything just right!

Can My Child’s Name Change Petition be Turned Down?

Child Name Change ANSWER

Yes, but it’s rare. The Court requires that you give a reason for Changing Your Child’s Legal Name. Put the real reason down, using your/his/her own words. Unless the Name Change reason is to try and avoid debts, incite violence, use obscenity, defraud someone, cause harm, trade on someone else’s fame or reputation, create identity confusion, or reasons like these, your reason is probably an acceptable one.

To give you some relative perspective:

In 2004, a Missouri man succeeded in changing his name to “They”. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a name change to “1069” could be denied, but that “Ten Sixty-Nine” was acceptable (Application of Dengler, 1979); the North Dakota Supreme Court had denied the same request several years before (Petition of Dengler, 1976).

You or your child cannot choose a name that is intended to mislead (such as adopting a celebrity’s name), that is intentionally confusing, or that incites violence; nor can one adopt, as a name, a racial slur, a threat, or an obscenity.

What if the other parent is out of the picture?

Child Name Change ANSWER

Name Change California allows 1 or both parents to Petition to Change a Child’s Name. You have to “serve” notice of the Hearing if 1 parent does not sign the Petition with you. OR, if you can’t reasonably do that, you need to provide a Declaration explaining to the judge why it can’t reasonably be done. Each Name Change judge can Grant the Petition if the judge determines the requirements have been met.

If the non-consenting parent objects to the Name Change, the judge may Grant or Deny the Petition based on all the factors involved. Your Name Change judge considers your Family Court Custody Order if you have one. Similarly, the Name Change judge may also consider testimony or other documents related to what’s best for the child.

It’s best if the Petitioning parent can get the agreement of the non-consenting parent. That’s often not possible. MANY single parent’s are successful in Changing their Child’s Name with a non-consenting parent totally out of the picture. You just need to do everything right and be persistent.  This is important.


EZ Name Change does these everyday and will be happy to take you through the process.