Los Angeles Name Change Attorney
Whether you are getting married, finalizing a divorce, going through a gender transition, or simply looking to “start over,” you may be interested in changing your legal name. Most people will change their name at the most once, perhaps twice, in their lifetime. The process can be more complicated and drawn-out than it may appear at first glance. You are trying to have your legal identity changed and to have that change recognized not only by local, state, and federal governments, but also by creditors, landlords, employers, and anyone else with whom you have entered any formal arrangement.
If you are interested in changing your name, or you want to change the name of your children, it is important that you get the right legal advice and representation to ensure that you jump through all of the required legal hoops. Making any mistakes or overlooking any steps in the process can lead to additional hassle, costing you time, energy, and money, and it can even create potential liability. Speak with a dedicated Claremont name change attorney at Blasser Law for help changing your name or the name of a child in Southern California.
Do I Need a Good Reason to Change My Name?
People typically change their names because they either marry or divorce. Individuals going through gender transition may also seek to change their names. However, you do not actually need a specific reason to change your name. So long as you are not breaking any laws by changing your name, you are legally permitted to do so. It is crucial, however, that your reasons are sufficient to justify the process name changes require.
It is worth noting that, in California, you can change your gender with or without a name change. You may be able to change the gender on your driver’s license, social security card, and U.S. passport without a court order. To change your birth certificate, however, you likely need a court order.
How Long Does a Name Change Take? How Much Does it Cost?
Changing your name is likely to take up to three months after filing your paperwork. You can fill out the forms online, but you will ultimately need to appear in court (or have a lawyer appear on your behalf). You will need proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status, a marriage license (if taking a spouse’s name), and other forms of identification.
A name change in most parts of California will likely cost around $495 in court fees, in addition to other costs such as publishing fees, form notarization, making additional copies, and any lawyer fees. If you are filing for divorce, your name change may be entered as part of the divorce proceedings to revert to your maiden name and should not cost anything extra beyond the existing court fees.
Can a Judge Reject My Name Change?
The court is not required to accept your petition for a name change. There are a few specific reasons a judge may reject your petition, including the following:
- The judge decides the petitioner is trying to commit fraud.
- The petitioner is trying to hide from the law, police, or other legal agency.
- The petitioner is on parole.
- The petitioner is incarcerated.
If you are trying to have your child’s name changed, such as after a divorce, you will need to convince a judge that the name change is in the best interests of the child.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Change My Name?
You are not legally required to utilize an attorney to change your name. However, if your time is valuable to you, you need to know that the process involves more than filling a few forms out online. You will need to complete a variety of forms and file them with the proper court, publish your name change in a court-approved publication, and appear in court. Failing to comply with all of the necessary steps can delay or derail your name-change process, costing you additional time, stress, and money. You will also need to take care to address issues your name change may raise with your job, your immigration status, your credit, or other areas.
In addition, name changes often come with other consequences. If you have any shared children, and you are seeking to change their names as well, you will need to either obtain the blessing of the children’s other parent or seek court approval. If they dispute the name change or the other parent cannot be found, you will almost certainly need the help of a lawyer to proceed. The court will need to evaluate whether the name change is in the “best interests of the child.” If you anticipate any issues arising with your name change, or if you are seeking to change the name of your child, help from a seasoned name change attorney is vital.
Our Claremont Family Lawyers are Here to Help with Your Name Change
For help changing your name in Los Angeles, contact the Claremont offices of Blasser Law at 877-927-2181 for a no-cost, confidential consultation regarding your needs.