We live in a place where people have the opportunity to legally change their names for a number of reasons. You may think that when a couple gets married, that’s the main reason for a legal name change, but that’s not always the case. Deputy and Mizell has experienced many clients asking about legal name changes, so in this blog we’d like to give you a general overview of how legal name changes in Missouri work.
Legal Name Changes in Missouri
Why Do People Decide to Legally Change Their Names?
There are a number of reasons why people may decide to legally get their names changed, including:
⦁ dislike their name
⦁ change name following divorce
⦁ the husband may take the wife’s name upon marriage
⦁ they may be changing the child’s surname to the mother’s or father’s
⦁ a couple may be hyphenating a surname or combining names to make a new one
⦁ they may want a “more” or “less” ethnic name
⦁ may be transgender and want to change their name to a name more suited for their chosen sex
⦁ for religious reasons
⦁ they may be same sex partners wanting the same surname
⦁ for a political statement
Legal Petition for Name Change (For an Adult)
You may file a Petition for Change of Name (For Adult Individual) if you are 18 years or older. This petition must state the following:
⦁ describe who you are
⦁ where you live
⦁ the reason you are seeking the name change
⦁ whether or not the name change is being made in good faith and WITHOUT intent to defraud creditors
Many lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks can file a Petition for Change of Name for a modest fee. An experienced lawyer can help you with the process, such as drafting the petition, reviewing the petition after you complete it, appearing in court at a hearing, or helping you with publication. Court rules can allow for a lawyer to help a party with certain specific tasks without handling the entire case. This process is called Limited Scope Representation. The steps for limited representation include:
1. Filing of a verified petition
2. Possible hearing
3. Entry of judgment
To File a Petition for Name Change (For an Adult)
A Petition for Change of Name must be verified BEFORE it can be filed, meaning you must swear the truth of the facts in the petition. The, you must sign the petition under oath in front of a notary. Most banks will do a notary for a small fee. The petition must be filed in the court in the county where you live.
Legal Petition for Name Change (For a Minor)
Changing the name of a minor can be more complicated than changing the name of an adult. The following simple steps might make it easier to understand the court process when seeking a name change for a minor.
1. Filing of a verified Petition FOR Change of Name by Parent
2. Written notary of consent of both known parents
3. Petition, Consent, and Order for Parent’s Appointment of Next Friend
4. Written notarized consent of the child (if age 14 years or older)
⦁ to name change, and
⦁ to the appointment of the next friend
5. Possible hearing
6. Entry of judgement
Seeking Legal Help for a Name Change?
Whether you are getting divorced, changing your child’s name, or you just plain don’t like your name, our experienced law of at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you. Deputy and Mizell can help guide you through this process and seek the easiest transition for you into a new name. For a free consultation, you may call one of our offices listed below. We are available to help you legally change your name for whatever reason you may have.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
Representing Clients Across the Lake of the Ozarks Region
Lebanon: 417-532-2191 Facebook
Camdenton: 573-346-9990 Twitter
Eldon: 573-227-3788 Google+