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California Name Change Laws (see California CCP 1275-1279.5, below) let you get your child’s name changed by Petitioning the Superior Court of the County where the child lives now. The Petition has to include the information required by the State of California. The Judicial Council of California has created standardized forms used in every California County. The State doesn’t require any documents from you besides the filled out forms from the Judicial Council. Local Courts have their own rules too. Your County Court may have additional requirements for you, on top of what California Requires. When it’s time for you to file your Petition, you need to find out what your Particular Superior Court in your particular county requires besides the State Forms. Your local county court has a website that will give you information that they require with your Petition for Child’s Name Change. Not all court websites are easy to get around in, so have patience or have someone like us help you. Some County Courts also require certain documentation to process the Petition for Change of Name. For instance, some courts require you to prove residency in the County. Some courts require that you show government issued photo ID.
Child’s Name Change Requirements for California
The Steps To Take Everyone, in every county court, is going to have to do these things to get your Child’s Name Change: 1. Prepare and File Your Petition 2. Provide Legal Notice 3. Go To Hearing and Get Court Order 4. Change Your Child’s ID, Registration and Important Records All County Courts require the first 3 steps, in that order. You do the 4th and final step after you get your Decree Changing Name signed by the judge. Petition Requirements Your Child’s Name Change Petition can be filed by both parents or by one parent with or without the consent of the other parent. (see California’s CCP 1276) The information required includes details about the child’s parents, about the child, about the child’s current and proposed new name and the reasons for the child’s name change request. Certain Counties also require very complete identification information (e.g. social security number, scars, height and weight, Driver’s License or State ID numbers, etc.) to help with required criminal history assessments. Also, a few counties want to see (for older children) a child’s name change consent form from the child whose name is being changed. Providing Legal Notice Everyone changing a child’s name in California must give public notice by advertising in a qualified newspaper, once a week for 4 consecutive weeks BEFORE your hearing. (see California’s CCP 1277) This notice gives the people in your area notice that there will be a hearing to decide your child’s name change, with the place, date and time., etc. Proof of that must be provided to your judge in proper form or the Petition will likely be denied. The court wants to know that both parents agree to the name change or not. If one parent doesn’t sign the Petition, the other parent is to Serve the non-consenting parent, if reasonably possible well before the decision by the judge. If one parent doesn’t agree, “the court may deny the petition in whole or in part if it finds that any portion of the proposed name change is not in the best interest of the child.” (California’s CCP 1278.5)
If both parents sign the Petition before it’s filed, only the newspaper notice is required. The Hearing and Court Order When you file the Petition, your Court will assign a Hearing date, usually 6-12 weeks or more from the date you file. This allows time for the legal notices to be given and proof supplied to the court and for anyone to object. Usually no one objects. It also allows time for the criminal history assessment and report to the judge and for your judge to review the Petition information. At the hearing, your judge may sign your Court Order (Decree Changing Name), or ask questions and then sign it. Or, the judge may require other things to be done or submitted. The judge can also deny the Petition, but most all Child’s Name Change Petitions are approved.
Changing Your Child’s Records After your judge signs the Decree, you can get 1 or more Certified Copies of Your Child’s Name Change Court Order. Most courts charge $25.50 each for them. We recommend you get 2. No one changes your child’s records automatically. You must contact everyone important and arrange the changes. Some of these places, particularly Schools, Social Security and Birth Certificate (Vital Records) will require Certified Copies of the Court Order.
References for Child’s Name Change
Information and Help
Your Child’s Name Change is a big deal
EZ Name Change specializes in California Legal Name Change. We know how important it is to get your child’s name right. Take some time to read through our articles and gather other information. When you’re ready, let us help you through the process. We charge an industry low $115.00 to give you a Ready-To-File Petition. For another $75 (plus court filing and advertising costs), you can have FULL SERVICE. Either way, you’ll have the help of California’s #1 Rated Name Change Service to help you with this VERY important family event. We’re passionate about helping you do this! You can start now, if you’re ready