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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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My brothers and I were given the last name (without adoption)

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My brothers and I were given the last name (without adoption) as children in the early 1960's. we went through our entire lives as this name. One brother was convicted wrongfully of a crime but still had to serve his time in Tennessee (no $ for an attorney for appeals). At 52, he is now a free man. HOWEVER, the only name he know and go back to is now trying to be taken from him unless he can get a legal name change. He was in the school system and served time under the name Hatfield, but the birth certificate says GIBSON. He is seeking a name change to keep the name he has been using since age 2. Is this a problem in Texas because he is an ex-con (released last year)? Even his criminal record states he is a Hatfield so it's not like he is leaving that behind.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. If your brother was convicted of a felony then it does complicate the name change process. At the very least he must wait 2 years from the date of his release from parole or incarceration, whichever is later. Then it is still up to the court's discretion. However, if your brother's criminal record is actually in the name he wants to legally change to, I don't see where there would be a problem. In fact,it would be more in favor of the State for him to retain the same name he had in his criminal record.

You can read much more about the process and see a sample petition and the process in Texas, by going to: http://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/ForThePublic/FreeLegalInformation/OurLegalSystem/NameChangesInTxpdf.pdf

After you review that pamphlet, if you have any related follow up questions, please feel free to ask me.
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