Divorce and split families are very common these days. Children may grow up in households where he or she might not have the same last name as Mom or Dad. As a result, the child or one or both parents may want to legally change the child’s name. This process is fairly straight forward in most cases.
First, the parent who wants to change the child’s name must file a Petition for Name Change (Minor Child) in family court located in the county where the petitioning parent and child resides. The parent making the request must also obtain fingers prints from an approved agency for a national and state criminal background check. The clerk where the Petition is filed can provide the petitioning parent with locations that are approved places to be finger printed. The petitioning parent must pay all costs associated with the finger prints. The finger prints must be completed before a hearing on the Petition may be scheduled with the Judge’s judicial assistant.
If both parents agree to the child’s name change, the petitioning parent must obtain written consent from the other parent a form called “Consent for Change of Name (Minor Child).” Once signed, this form must be filed with the court. If the other parent does not agree to the name change, the petitioning parent must have the objecting parent personally served with the Petition for Name Change (Minor Child) and notice of the hearing. In the event the objecting parent cannot be located, he or she can be served via constructive notice, which means a notice can be published in the newspaper about the name change.
Next, once the petitioning parent has filed the Petition, obtained consent or had the other parent served, and completed the finger prints process, then he or she can request a hearing before the Judge assigned to the case. The petitioning parent should bring to the final hearing, a proposed Final Judgment of Name Change. This is the legal document the judge will sign, making the name change legal and official.
Florida Statute 68.07 deals with name change:
The necessary forms can be found here:
Petition for Change of Name (Minor Children) Form 12.982(c)
Consent For Change of Name (Minor Children) Form 12.982(d)
Final Judgment of Change of Name (Minor Children)