Getting a Legal Name Change for Your Child in Florida
A lot goes into a name. A child’s first and last name are fundamental markers of their identity. Therefore, it is not surprising that some desperately want to seek a legal name change for their child after family circumstances have changed. In Florida, getting your child’s name changed is not always easy. In fact, in some cases, it can be an extremely complicated and frustrating process. If you are looking to get your child’s name changed, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced Orlando family law attorney. Your attorney can help guide you through Florida’s legal name change process for minors.
Florida Law on Name Changes
Florida Statute 68.07 governs the change of names for both adults and children. When it comes to getting your own name changed, as an adult, the process is relatively straightforward. Ultimately, the state of Florida gives competent adults an enormous amount of discretion to select their own legal name. However, under state law, getting a minor child’s name changed can be far more complex. There are strict rules and regulations in place that must be followed in these type of cases. Generally, your child’s name change case will fit into one of the following two categories:
- With the Consent of the Other Parent
If you have the consent of the other parent, or if the other parent is no longer around or has been stripped of their parental rights, then getting your child’s legal name changed can be relatively straightforward. You still need to follow all state rules and you should also obtain and bring a notarized consent form from the child’s other parent. However, Florida courts will likely not stand in your way.
- Without the Consent of the Other Parent
If the other parent is not eager or willing to consent to the name change, getting it accomplished will be a significantly more challenging task. However, you are not necessarily out of luck. First, you will need to officially notify the other parent that you are planning on seeking a legal name change for your child. If this is not done correctly, a Florida court will almost certainly not even hear the merits of your request. If the other parent does decide to dispute the name change, you will need to be ready to make your case at a hearing. Florida courts will assess child name change disputes by using the ‘best interests of the child’ legal standard. You will need to be able to prove that the prospective name change is best for your child’s psychological and emotional well being.
Do You Family Law Help in Central Florida?
Our compassionate legal team is here, ready to assist you. At Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, we have extensive experience handling a wide array of family law cases. If you have any questions about getting your child’s name changed, or about child custody or child time sharing, please all our office today (407) 521-7171. We are located in Orlando and we serve communities throughout the region, including in Orange County, Seminole County and Lake County.