Philadelphia Name Change Lawyer
Your name is what identifies you from a personal standpoint, and many people view it as a gift given by their parents at birth. However, an individual’s name also carries legal implications, so it is not something that you can unilaterally change at whim. Pennsylvania name change laws provide a very specific process, which varies according to your circumstances. You must meet the requirements, without errors or omissions, to make the modification effective in the eyes of the law.
There is much more to the process than people expect, and it does not involve simply filling out a few forms. Plus, there is no right to name change, and you may need to prove your position in court to achieve the intended result. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane frequently handles these cases, so we are prepared to advise you on the criteria and assist with the steps. Please contact our firm to set up a case evaluation with a Philadelphia name change lawyer. A summary about the legal concepts is also helpful.
Reasons to Consider Name Change
Individuals are motivated by different factors when contemplating a change, including:
- Upon getting married, many women want to use their married name going forward.
- Some men and women choose to hyphenate their names as a married couple.
- A woman who goes by her married name may seek to go back to a maiden or prior name after getting a divorce. The same is true when her husband passes away.
- Parents might want to change a child’s name after adoption, which is usually part of the adoption proceedings.
A parent might want to insulate a child from the adversity of having a name associated with the other parent’s criminal acts or bad reputation.
There are also inappropriate and potentially illegal reasons to change your name. You will probably not get far in the process if your motivation is avoiding creditors, hiding from a child support obligation, or related misconduct.
Legal Process for Name Changes
The requirements vary depending on the status of the individual seeking the modification, since different laws apply. For instance, to change your name after divorce or death of a spouse, there are forms to complete and submit with supporting documentation. You will need a final divorce decree or death certificate, and you must provide written notice in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
However, name changes for minors and other adults require additional steps.
- You must file a petition that includes basic contact information, intention to change your name, reasons for the change, and addresses where you resided during the five years prior to filing.
- The petitioner must publish a notice of name change, which informs the community of your intentions.
- A parent must also notify a co-parent when moving to change a minor’s name, unless that person has passed away or parental rights were terminated.
- The court will hold a hearing on the petition, and any interested parties have the opportunity to object.
The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will walk you through these steps, handle publication, and appear in court for a name change hearing. We develop a solid legal strategy designed to overcome objections and convince the judge to rule in your favor.
Speak to a Philadelphia Name Change Lawyer About the Process
If you are considering changing your name for lawful reasons, you can trust the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane to ensure a smooth process. We can explain whether you qualify and assist with the legal requirements, so please contact us to schedule a consultation. A Philadelphia name change lawyer can provide additional details after hearing your story.