Ready to change your name, but unsure of the court procedures and requirements?
Contact MCNAMEE MEDIATIONS to start this fairly simple process.
Name Change Action Allowed: In California, a person may change their name by filing an action in the Superior Court with appropriate forms.
- Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.
- Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered a minor.
- Must the child agree to the name change? No, but the court may consider the wishes of a child old enough to express their wishes in considering whether to grant the Application.
- Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? The agreement of the parent(s)and legal guardian, if any, are not required by statute. In the absence of written consent, the Court will order notice of the Application be served on any non-consenting parent or legal guardian. The objections of a parent or legal guardian would be factors for the court to consider in determining whether the name change is in the best interests of the minor. If both parents are living and do not join in the Petition, the Court may deny the Petition in whole or in part if it finds that the name change is not in the best interest of the child.
- Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. The court must find that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest. A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person can not change their name to defraud any person.
- Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must finds sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
- Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.
- Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The General Public by way of publication of an Order to Show Cause reciting the details of the Petition for Name Change. This is published once a week for four successive weeks a newspaper of general circulation designated in the Order to Show Cause issued by the Court.
- Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes. Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.
- Basic Procedures: The name change process begins with the filing of a Petition for Name Change in the Superior Court where the Petitioner resides. The court will then issue an Order to Show Cause re Name Change which will recite the particulars of the Petition. The Order to Show Cause will direct all persons interested in the name change to appear before the court at a time and place specified to show cause why the name change petition should not be granted. This Order to Show Cause will then be published once a week for four weeks in a newspaper designated within the Order to Show Cause.
If there are no objections filed with the court, the court may, without conducting a hearing, enter the Order Granting Change of Name. If objections are received the court will conduct a hearing at the scheduled time and the court may inquire of all interested parties. Thereafter the court may enter whatever order it deems just and proper. The court can grant or dismiss the Petition. Once the Order granting the Petition is signed the Petitioner is free to assume the new name.
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in California, but does include basic and other provisions.
Legal Name Change Information Request
You may request additional information from McNamee Mediations regarding Legal Name Change mediation by filling out the form below.