Following a divorce or a change in custody, it is common for individuals to want a name change for themselves or their children. Many consider the changing of a name the first step towards a new life and a fresh start. The process can be relatively simple for adults, however, it may be slightly more complex for children. Because parents may both have a say in a child's name, some parents may disagree with changing a child's name.
Name Changes For Adults
If an adult requires a name change, they must go to the court and file the proper form to do so. There are a few prerequisites for filing for a name change in New Jersey. The first is that for adults following a marriage, the official court filing for a name change does not need to be done in the traditional sense. In fact, these name change issues can be resolved simply by requesting a change in a social security card from a local Social Security Administration office. Depending on what the terms of a divorce were, the former spouse may resume their maiden name by requesting a new social security card, or they will need to put in a request with the Family Division of the court where the divorce was filed. When a request with the court is required, what must occur for an adult to file a name change is the filing of the documents, the payment of the filing fees, and last, court approval. Once this is done, the name change should be reported in an appropriate newspaper, and to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The filing process is several steps long, and because of this, it may be helpful to provide the necessary information to an attorney and have the attorney conduct the filing.
Name Changes For Children
Parents who want to seek a name change for their children under the age of 18 must do so through a court filing. If the name change is a result of a marriage or a divorce, it may be helpful to consult the Family Division of the court to see if the child is eligible for a name change, or if it is even necessary. At times, a name change can be factored into the terms of a divorce, though this will rarely happen in a custody battle with unmarried parents. If a minor's name change must be requested, it will follow relatively the same filing process as it would for an adult, but prior to the court's approval, the other parent must be notified. If the other parent disagrees with the name change request, they may appear at a hearing to voice their disagreement. The court may factor this into its decision making. Again, the name change process has several steps and can be confusing for individuals not well versed in court proceedings. For this reason, it may be helpful to retain the services of an attorney to handle the filing, and hearing, if necessary.
If you or a loved one is involved in matters of Family Law, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.