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Legal Name Change Related Questions

Getting a name changed isn’t difficult. However, knowing the legal procedures and actions to take can be confusing. While adoption name change and marriage name change are the most common reasons for a change of name, there can be other reasons and needs for a name change. Each situation can be unique, resulting in questions like the ones below.

Changing a minor’s last name during paternity search

Changing a child’s or minor’s name is usually an easy process. However, if a living second parent is involved, you may need to terminate the absent parent’s parental rights before starting the adoption and name change process. Changing a child’s last name does not always require an adoption, but it can help establish parental rights. Writing a letter for a paternity search can be confusing, so a good way to start might be to ask a Lawyer on JustAnswer, or consult a family law attorney in your area.

Can a parent change a child’s last name without the other parent’s consent?

Changing the name of a child is a decision that typically needs the consent of both parents. If one parent objects to the name change, the other parent usually has to convince the court that the name change is in the child's best interest. When faced with a situation like this, you could ask a Lawyer. The legal insights you receive from the Experts could to help you determine the best legal course of action.

In Oklahoma, can a custodial parent change a minor’s last name without going to court if there is no marriage and no second parent present?

In order to change a custodial child’s name, it is usually necessary to file a petition with the court, though this requirement can vary by state and jurisdiction. A sample reference is Oklahoma State law: Chapter 33 §1631. Right to Petition for Change of Name. This section states that, if you are a natural-born citizen living within the state of Oklahoma for at least 30 days, you may petition for a change of name in a civil action in the district court. If the person is a minor, the action may be brought by a guardian or next friend. In your petition you would normally need to include:

• The name and address of the petitioner; how long the petitioner has lived at the given address.
• The date and place of birth of the petitioner; the birth certificate number, and place of registration, if the birth is registered.
• The name desired by petitioner.
• A clear explanation of why you want the name changed. Example: My child's father has never met her; he is in jail, etc.
• A positive statement that the change is not sought for any illegal or fraudulent purpose, or to delay or hinder creditors.

Can someone keep both their maiden name as well as their legal married name; if so would they need to be hyphenated in order to be a legal signature?

In most cases, you are able to make a choice – to either keep your maiden name, use your married name, or do a hybrid name with the hyphenation. However, you must pick one name to be your legal name. This would be the name that would be used on your Social Security record, passport, to buy a home, etc.

Can someone request a name change online for their social security card?

You may change your name, but not online. However, you may use the US mail service to request a name change. You will usually have to complete a new social security application with the new name, and give it to the local social security office. You will need to provide proof of your legal name change and send all documents – either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency – to the Social Security Administration.

Getting your name changed for whatever reason isn’t a hard task if you know the procedures and what you are expected to do. Since there are so many reasons to get a named changed, each with its own legal implication, name change can result in many questions. Lawyers on JustAnswer can help answer your questions regarding name changes quickly and affordably.
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