One has to file a petition for name change of a minor. See HERE for instruction on how to do so. The only thing is that the website in the link assumes this to be an "agreed" petition. One may have to change some verbiage in petition.
The other party has to be SERVED with the petition as well. He can simply not show up (name change likely granted automatically), or, challenge the petition. If so, see below.
Once the petition is filed and served, eventually, there is a hearing. At this point, the Judge makes a decision "in the best interest of the child," which leaves a lot of discretion to the Judge. Often, the Judge will want to know whether or not the other parent is in the life of the child.
Using counsel is not required, but is recommended.
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