Can I Legally Change My Child’s Name in Florida?

A parent helps their small child walk on a sandy beach.

Even before your child was born, their name was a critical part of their identity and something you may have agonized over for 9 months. Our attorneys understand that your child’s name is important not only to you but their future.

When things change in your familial situation, it can seem like a logical step to also change your child’s name. This is not an easy process in Florida, and one that you will want to talk about with your custody attorney who can help you successfully complete the process.

If you are involved in an ongoing divorce, paternity or child custody action discuss with your attorney your desire of changing your child’s name as you may request a name change as a part of the ongoing action. If both parents agree to a name change, there can be an agreement drafted between the parties to be approved by the court in its final determination.

However, if your case has concluded, or you were not involved in a case previously, Florida statute 68.07 governs the process of changing a child’s name. As with all issues involving a child, the court will only grant such a change if it is found to be in the child’s best interest. If you and your child’s parent agree on the change, you may both petition the court for the name change together and be set for a hearing automatically after filing. However, if your ex-partner does not give permission for the change, you must petition the court for the right to do so. After filing, you must notify your ex-partner of your intention to change the child’s name. This can be achieved through proper service of process. Your lawyer will be able to discuss with you proper service of such documents. Your case will then be set for a hearing. This is where the employment of your attorney is invaluable, we will help to gather evidence proving to the courts how the name change falls into the “child’s best interests” standard. This will include the impact the name change will have on the child both emotionally and psychologically. Upon determination, that such a change is in the child’s best interest the court will grant your petition and order the child’s name changed.

For parents to be able to change the legal name of a child, there are specific steps that must be followed. A lawyer can answer any questions concerning situations such as changing your child’s name. We will be able to provide you with proper legal advice and walk you through these emotionally difficult times.

Speaking to an attorney at our office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at (800) 822-5170 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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