Forms to Change a Child’s Name
In order to change a child’s name in California, there are several steps, preparing the documents, publishing notice and attending a court hearing. First, you must complete several documents. These documents include a Petition for Change of Name (NC-100), the required Attachment (NC-100), Order to Show Cause for Change of Name (NC-120), Decree Changing Name (NC-130), Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010), Proof of Service (NC-121) and any applicable local forms of the county court.
Next, file the completed documents with the court. The court will need to receive an original and two copies of each document. Keep in mind, if the child is 12-years-old or older, the child will also need to sign a document agreeing to the name change which is filed with the paperwork. If the documents are correct, the court clerk assign a case number and set a hearing date. In the event that only one parent is asking for the child’s name to be changed, the other parent must be given notice about the name change. Someone other than the petitioning parent must serve the other parent with the court documents.
Publication and Notice of Name Change Request
In addition to serving the other parent, notice of the name change must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation. A list of approved newspapers can usually be obtained at the court clerk’s office. The newspaper must publish NC-120 for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper. Publication must be completed and proof of publication filed with the court before the hearing is held. In order to make sure there is enough time to complete the required publication, it is a good idea to ask that the hearing date be set at least six weeks away. Otherwise, there may not be enough time to complete the publication and file proof of completion with the court before the hearing.
Hearing on Name Change
At the hearing, a parent who does not agree with the name change can oppose the name change request. At the hearing, a parent can give the court reasons why the child’s name should not be changed. If the judge approves the name change request, they will sign the Order (NC-130) once the hearing is completed. Afterwards, a parent will need to ask for certified copies of the Order to give to the child’s school, healthcare provider, Social Security Office or other governmental agencies.
Can a Father Object to Changing a Child’s Name?
Yes! Either parent can object to a request by the other parent to change a child’s name. With this in mind, the petitioner should let the other parent know ahead of time of their intent to change their child’s name. Remember, it is always better to try and resolve disputes outside of court. Doing so will save both parents time and money.
What Are the Costs to Change a Child’s Name?
Currently, the court filing fee to file a petition to change a child’s name is $435.00. Some courts also charge an additional $30 court reporter fee. If a party has low-income, they may qualify for a fee waiver of these court fees. In addition to the court filing, you will have the newspaper publication fee. This fee can vary dramatically between newspapers so it may be advisable to price shop before choosing which newspaper you will be using.
A People’s Choice has helped thousands of parents successfully file to change a child’s name in California. Although the process is not very complicated, it is time sensitive and any misstep could result in either than name change being denied or the process delayed. Contact our experienced staff at 800-747-2780 to get more information about the process and costs to change a child’s name.