There are several reasons why one may seek a name change for themselves, or, their child. Most commonly, a name change may be sought simply due to preference, safety, adoption, logistics, etc. Although a name change seems like a simple process to navigate, it does have its complexities. As a result, our office is here to navigate the process for you to ensure your petition is filed correctly and in accordance with the Court’s guidelines. Failure to do so may result in a denial causing you time and money.
After receiving your initial call, our firm will promptly schedule a free consultation for you to meet with our team. During this consultation various questions will be asked of you in order to better understand your goals and background. The location of your residence determines in which court your petition must be filed. A name change request can be made in the County Court or Supreme Court of the county in which you reside. In the event that you live in New York City, however, we must file the petition at the New York City Civil Court or the Supreme Court in the county in which you reside.
Once proper jurisdiction is determined, our office will draft a name change petition, proposed order, submit your certified birth certificate, etc. to the Court. In the event that the petition is before the Supreme Court, a request for judicial intervention must also be submitted to have a Judge assigned to the case. Additional documentation may be required if submitting a name change petition for a child. Within the court papers we must communicate several points such as the reason for the name change, if you have been convicted of a crime, if you have faced bankruptcy, etc. Without all those critical elements, a petition to change the name may be denied.
Upon our final submission, the papers will then be reviewed by the Court Clerk and submitted to the assigned Judge. Please be aware, if you are changing a child’s name our office may have to notify the other parent or legal guardian and return to court. Once the Judge approves the petition, we then must publish the new name in the newspaper which the Court designates. The assigned Judge can also order our office to place other parties on notice about the name change, such as the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Selective Service System, a wife or husband or ex-wife or ex-husband, Bankruptcy Court, N.Y.S. Criminal Justice Services, and any other party that the Judge thinks should be advised.
After all items have been satisfied, the Judge will Order the name change. Copies of the Order will then be provided to you to change all your legal documents such as your social security card and driver’s license. Now bear in mind, if the Judge believes that you are changing your name to commit fraud or to hide from the law or the police, or to avoid paying child support or debts, or for some other illegal reason, the Judge may deny your request to change your name.
As you can see, the process to effectuate a name change can be extremely cumbersome. However, our firm is more than happy to get you through this maze. As we have assisted many clients with name changes, we know exactly what pitfalls to avoid and what is required to increase the chances of having the petition approved. Should you be in need of assistance, please know that consultations are always FREE and our rates remain competitive. You should always feel welcome to contact our office as we would be more than happy to meet with you in person and go over your case thoroughly!
"Mr. Fried and his staff were impeccably professional and knowledgeable. They were patient and answered all of my questions, and I received prompt responses to all calls and emails. I also appreciate how well they explained the legal proceedings of my case to me. Thanks to their efforts, my case was resolved with a favorable outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of service I've received and would absolutely recommend this firm."
— Y. Chun
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