To change your name officially, you must submit a Petition for Change of Name in the Circuit Court of the county in which you live. Unless the court allows a waiver of publication, a notice of the request must be published in a newspaper of broad circulation in that county. The petition should include evidence of at least two references from persons known by the petitioner to support his or her claim to have a good reason for the name change. The petitioner must also provide an affidavit stating that he or she has never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and is at least 18 years old.
The court will hold a hearing on the matter and decide whether to grant the name change. If the court grants the change, new documents with the changed name will be issued. The old documents will be filed away after they are used to process any filings made with the court.
Changing your name can have many benefits, such as allowing you to establish credit under your new name.
A Petition for a Name Change form must be filled out. It is the key document used to submit your request for a name change. Depending on your state, this paperwork can be sent or filed online. Once the form and other documents have been completed, take them to your local county clerk's office to be reviewed. They will tell you what more information may be needed before your record can be updated.
Your petition should include: your full legal name at birth and current name, the name you want to use now, any previous names you've used, and proof of identity (such as a driver's license or passport) and residence (such as a utility bill). If you cannot provide official identification, you will need to file an affidavit stating that you cannot afford to pay for a name change. The court system may not be able to help you if you don't follow these requirements.
Your name change request will be reviewed by a judge who will make a final decision regarding whether or not to grant your request. The judge may ask you to appear in court with your new name for approval. If you choose to do this, you will need to bring proof of your new name (such as a driver's license with your new name or ID card with your new name) and complete an Appearance Bond which will be required by the court.
The entire process may take several months to years to complete depending on how long it takes for your court case to be heard and decided.
To change an individual's name for any reason other than marriage or divorce, a formal petition must be submitted to the local Circuit County Clerk. The petitioner must be at least 18 years old and provide proof of identity before the petition can be processed.
Name changes are also available through marriage. To file for a marriage license, you will need to appear in person before a notary public or deputy clerk and provide evidence of identity. The couple will then have to submit an application for a marriage license with the required fee. If the name change is being done as part of a divorce, then it must also be filed with the Circuit County Clerk. Divorce filings can be made online or by mail at no charge. In order to complete your divorce properly, both parties must agree on all aspects including the name change.
In Arkansas, there are two types of names that can be used when filing documents: given names and family names. A person's given name is the first name that is given to him or her at birth. For example, Jane is the given name of one filer while Jessica is the given name of another. Within given names, there are often different versions such as John or Jonathan, James or Jeffrey, etc.
If you wish to change your name for reasons other than marriage or divorce, the legal name change process often begins with the filing of a petition with the court. You may also be required to attend a hearing and demonstrate cause for your name change request. Cause could include but is not limited to confusion over names, missing out on important documents because one's name is different, etc.
The judge will usually grant your request as long as all involved parties agree. If they don't agree, the judge can make another decision about what name should go on official documents or leave the last name unchanged but give you a choice of new first names. For example, he might say that since you were married before and are now divorced, we'll keep your former surname except after the birth date of your child if any was born during the marriage. If you choose not to take the new name, it won't affect the divorce judgment in any way.
You will need evidence of your identity such as a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate with your new name on it. If you have changed your name due to marriage then your old name will probably not be accepted as proof of identity.
If you want to change your name because you got divorced, there is no need to get a court order.
How to Change Your Name Legally
To change your name, file a petition with your local Superior Court outlining your reasons for doing so. You'll need to update your Social Security card, driver's license, and passport if the court confirms your request. The process takes about six weeks.
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Change of Adult Name (No Marriage or Divorce)