Changing a Child's Name in Florida
It is relatively simple to manage a minor’s name change if both parents agree to the change and reside in the same Florida county. The application should be lodged in the county where the child resides.
If only one parent is a resident of the country where the application is being lodged, or if only one parent is asking for a change of name then the other parent must be notified of the name change. When both parents agree to changing the child’s name then they should file a Consent for Change of Name (Minor Child(ren)), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.982(d). Just Google this form name to find it online.
Once you have completed the application you should set a hearing date with your local clerk of court, or for more information about setting a hearing date you can speak with the clerk of court, family law intake staff, a judicial assistant or staff at the self-help center. The court will consider your request at the hearing and you may need to attend the hearing.
When attending the hearing you should take a complete Final Judgment of Change of Name (Minor Child(ren)), Florida Supreme Court Family Law Form 12. 982(e). Full instructions on how to complete the form are detailed on the form itself so take time to read through the form in detail. Once the judge approves your request they will sign the Final Judgment form, which is then your formal document evidencing the child’s change of name.
You should aim to get multiple copies of the signed Final Judgment form certified by the clerk of court at the same time the name change is approved. There is a small charge for this service. You should aim to have at least 2 extra copies. It is a good idea to leave one with a trusted family member.
If the other parent is absent then they should be notified of the child’s name change. If you know where the other parent loves you must use personal service. If you absolutely do not know where they live you must use constructive service. More information about personal and constructive service can be found in the General Instructions for Self-Represented Litigants.’ Process for constructive service can be complex so you may want to consider engaging a professional to assist you with such an application. Generally speaking, the court will consider an application from one parent if due process had been followed and will make a ruling based on what is in the best interest of the child.
For further information on what constitutes an absent parent, or if you want to challenge the other parent's right to approve or deny a name change you should contact the court. Easy Name Change is a name change notification service and we will not interpret the law or offer advice on parental permission. Any communication regarding changing a child's name will not be responded to.
It is not necessary for the child to consent to the name change, however the judge may consider a request from the child if they are mature enough to understand the implications of their name change.
Once I have legally changed my child’s name, what do I do next?
Easy Name Change Florida notification kits are not suitable for children as they typically have fewer companies that need to be notified of a name change. This is relatively simple process that can be managed yourself.
Make a list of all the organizations that should be notified of a change to your child’s name. This could include schools, baby sitters and carers, HMO's, health professionals, passports office (if the child has a current passport), life insurance funds, government benefits’ offices, family and friends. Contact individuals and organizations and inform them of the child’s new name. Some organizations may need forms to be filled out and may need to see the court document validating the name change.
Can Easy Name Change help?
No. Easy Name Change Florida is a name change notification service for people 18 years and older. Our advice on changing a child's name is limited to what appears on this page. We won't respond to emails requesting information on name change for children. If you need further advice for changing a child's name or parental consent, please contact your County Court directly.
NOTE: This information is of a general nature only and should not be considered legal advice. Easy Name Change is unable to provide any further information on changing the names of children as it is beyond our area of expertise. For further information contact your county court or a qualified professional. If you are seeking any of the forms or documents listed above, simply copy and paste the document name into Google.
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