Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Change a Child’s Name in Texas

In Texas a guardian or parent must petition the court if they wish to change a child’s name. This is also the process that must be followed when an adult requests a name change, but in the case of a child, there are additional requirements that must be met. Our blog about changing an adult’s name can be found below.

If a name change is requested for a child, all parents or conservators of the child must be served with the petition requesting the name change by a constable or process server and the name change must be in the “best interest” of the child. As in the case of an adult name change, the petition must include specific personal information about the child. The party requesting the name change for the child must also disclose whether there has been a previous court order regarding the child and which court has continuing exclusive jurisdiction under the Texas Family Code. If the child is 10 years of age or older, the child’s written consent to the change of name must be attached to the petition.

As in the case of an adult name change, a hearing will be scheduled. Other parents or conservators f the child must be notified of the hearing and given the opportunity to contest the name change. If the name change is contested, the court will determine whether or not the name change is in the child’s best interest.

After an order changing the name has been signed by the judge, that person should notify the appropriate governmental agencies such as the Social Security Agency. If a child’s name has been changed and the child has been the subject of a previous court order such as a custody or child support order, a copy of the order changing the child’s name should also be sent to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.