Aiken Name Change Lawyer

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Every parent understands just how hard it can be to name a child. But once the name sticks and becomes official, changing it is not something you just wake up and do. To change the name of a child or an adult, there is a legal process to be followed.

People change names for several reasons. It could be they’re getting married, they’re divorced, or they simply choose to go with a different name. No matter the reason for a name change, you need the help of a family lawyer to do it.

Aiken name change lawyer will take you through the legal process of changing your name in South Carolina. Our lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs in Aiken understand how complex it can be to carry out a simple name change. We will walk you through the process to ensure you follow all the required procedures.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Name Change

Name change simply means an individual chooses to be identified by a different name. A parent may decide to change the name of their child, or an adult prefers to be identified with a different name.

Most common name changes requested in South Carolina happen because of a marriage or divorce. The law allows a married person to take the surname of their spouse. However, when the couples divorce, the law doesn’t automatically allow them to change their names.

Name change can also happen for personal reasons or child adoption. Regardless of the reason, there are legal requirements that you must follow.

What Are the Benefits and Considerations When Changing Your Name?

Changing names is a big decision that requires careful consideration. It’s also a legal process that takes time and money to complete. However, when done carefully and legally, a name change can have many benefits.

The main benefit of changing your name is to get a fresh start. Maybe your name reminds you of a difficult situation, and changing it is the only way to achieve freedom. Changing your name gives you a sense of control and unmatched power. Finally, a name change is a wonderful way to reinvent your identity and achieve great milestones.

Despite the benefits of name change, this is a big step that needs careful consideration. Some of the things to consider include:

  • The laws in your start regarding name change
  • Most of your official and legal documents, such as a passport, social security, and driver’s license, must be modified to adapt to the new name.
  • Name change requires a lot of money
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time doing all the paperwork
  • You must notify your friends and family once the new name becomes official.

What is the Legal Process for a Name Change?

To legally change your name, here is a process that you should follow:

Choose a New Name

Before filing the official petition for a name change, you must already know the names you want. Make sure you consider ease of spelling and pronunciation. Also, ensure you consider the limitations, which include:

  • No stealing celebrity names
  • No rude names
  • No confusing names
  • No changing names for the purpose of hiding

Gather Documents

The documents you need to file for a name change will depend on your state requirements and the reason for a name change.

Some common documents that you may need include:

  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Proof of identification
  • A sworn statement for proof of good character
  • Proof of residence
  • A sworn statement for proof of child support or tax obligations
  • Criminal background check

Filing for Name Change

Once you get all the documents in order, you can head to court to file a name change petition. You will need to pay a fee to file the documents.

In South Carolina, a petition for an adult or minor name change does not require a “publish notice” of your name change application. For a child’s name change, you might have to attend a hearing. However, this may not be a requirement for an adult name change unless under special circumstances.

Court Approval

The court will ask you for additional information to support your name change, which you must answer accurately. The court will then review your application, and if they find that you have a good reason to change your name, they will grant your request.

However, sometimes, the process is not smooth, and you may need to appear in court for a brief hearing. If it’s approved, you’ll need to wait for some weeks to receive your name change certificate.

What Are the Requirements and Documentation For a Name Change?

For your name change petition to be approved, you must gather all the necessary documents and attach them when filing your petition. In South Carolina, you will need the following documents to file for a name change:

  • A copy of your original birth certificate
  • DSS screening
  • An affidavit signed in front of the presence of a notary showing whether you have a court order to pay child support or alimony
  • A criminal records report from SLED also states whether your name appears in the sex offender registry.
  • A hearing request form including your contact information and availability dates.

What Are the State-Specific Laws and Procedures?

Legally changing your name should depend on your state or jurisdiction. However, it’s important to note that the rules are generally the same, with slight variations.

Understanding state laws regarding name change is crucial for the success of the process. For example, some states require publication of name change while others don’t. Other states also require that people seeking a name change for themselves be adults of the same state. And, of course, many states will not approve a name change to escape debt or commit fraud.

Are There Any Special Circumstances in Name Change?

Name Change After Marriage

The most common name change request is marriage. People need to change their surnames to reflect that of their spouses. Changing a name after marriage is optional but usually the easiest. All you need is a marriage certificate. Your surname for the marriage name change must match your spouse’s last name.

Name Change After Divorce

If you want to restore your maiden name after a divorce, your certificate of divorce should give you the right to do this. Changing a name after a divorce is optional, and your spouse should not force you to do it if you don’t want to.

Name Change for Minors

Name changes for children usually occur during the adoption process. The new parents will need a new birth certificate, which might involve getting a new name. You can change the child’s first, middle, and last name according to your liking. You will then get a new birth certificate with the new names.

Name Change for Gender Transition

Transgender people may need to change their names so that they’re identified properly based on their gender identity. To do this, you must go through the state name change procedure. You might need to appear before a judge to answer some questions regarding your name change.

Are There Any Challenges and Objections?

Although most name change petitions are approved, there are circumstances where you might face objections or denial by a judge.

Dealing with Objections

Although rare, petitions can arise in objection to your name change. Common name change objections involve those of children with whom one parent does not agree. Your creditors may also object to your name change if it will affect your debt repayment.

Fraud and Legal Implications

If your name change is likely to cause confusion, harm, or fraud, the petition will be denied. You cannot change names for fraudulent purposes or to escape a crime. You can’t get away with a crime by changing your name.

What is the Role of a Family Law Attorney in Name Change?

While some people think they don’t need a lawyer for a name change, the help of a family lawyer comes in handy during the process.

Legal Advice and Guidance

Aiken name change lawyer will give you legal advice and guide you through the process. Having a lawyer will make the process less tedious and save you from all the stress. They will ensure you comply with all the requirements to get your name change easily approved.

Assistance with Paperwork and Proceedings

There is a lot of paperwork involved in a name change petition. Without the help of an Aiken name change lawyer, it will be easy to get overwhelmed and confused. They’ll help you put together the required paperwork and represent you in court in case of a hearing. Your lawyer will also offer legal guidance on post-name change steps.

Get Your Family Lawyer to Help with Name Change

Whether changing your name after marriage, divorce, child adoption, or for personal reasons, you need to follow the right procedures. At JJWLS, we understand all the steps and procedures required for a name change. We will work with you through the entire process and ensure you successfully change your name.

Get in touch with us and let our Aiken name change lawyer guide you through the steps.