Name Change

 The United States is one of the few countries that allows such freedom of changing names as often as one likes.  As long as you meet individual requirements, you can legally change your name.  However, there are cases in which name changes can become difficult because of previous legal occurrences that impact a name change application.  A an attorney who specializes in name change can help you address the issues that might arise during a name change petition.

Attorney for Name Change in Cameron County, Texas

Although an application for a name can seem simple, you can run into complications, such as a previous criminal charge or divorce.  Let a name change attorney do the worrying for you.  Call one of our attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. who can consult with you, and if you are eligible, help you apply for a name change.

Names can be very personal, and we know you may feel strongly about your changing your name.  We can understand you want to make this process as smooth and straightforward as possible, and we will work with you to get it done.  Call our office in Brownsville, Texas, at 956-504-2211 for more information.  Our firm works with clients in Cameron County, Willacy County, and Hidalgo County. 

Overview of Name Change in Cameron County, Texas 

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Grounds for Name Change

There are many reasons why you might want to change your name; however, the court will be looking for a legal basis for why you might want to change your name. Those reasons include the following:

  • You are divorced, separated, or widowed 
  • You prefer a name that’s easier to pronounce in society 
  • You are recently married 
  • You were adopted or prefer your stepparent’s last name 
  • You are petitioning for your kids’ names to be changed (in case of an absent parent or adoption) 
  • Same-sex couples who want to share a surname 
  • You previously went by another name 

You are allowed to petition for a name change for if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years old 
  • You have no convictions or felonies or have been pardoned or completed your sentence two or more years ago 
  • You are not registered as a sex offender, or you’ve asked permission from the state to apply 
  • You are registering the name change in your county 

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Legal Process for Name Change 

An attorney who handles name change cases becomes useful when a name change turns into a complicated process due to a previous marriage, or past criminal charge.  You will want an attorney who is experienced in a courtroom and can present the necessary paperwork and evidence in case of a previous marriage or criminal charge on your behalf when soliciting your name change. 

Only the following situations allow you to change your name without having to go through a separate legal procedure.

  • Naturalization (Becoming a U.S. Citizen)
  • Marriage
  • Divorce

If you are in the process of applying for citizenship or becoming a naturalized citizen, consider this one of the few chances you get to change your name hassle and cost-free legally.  If a judge is swearing you during the naturalization ceremony, he or she can certify your name change during that time. 

If you want your name to be changed due to a divorce, and you’re still in the divorce process, you can request a name change in your pleadings in your case prior to your final hearing.  Otherwise, you’ll have to go through a separate process to have your name legally changed. 

You can expect to pay a small fee for change of name certificate after the court grants you the name change.  The change of name certificate serves as proof of your name change when having to change identification documents or other legal documents.

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When Can My Petition Be Denied? 

A name change petition can be rejected if it violates any of the legal requirements stated above; however, a name change petition can also be denied in the following circumstances:

  • The desired new name violates any copyright infringement regulations 
  • The desired new name is a racial slur or considered politically inappropriate 
  • The desired new name is found to cause potentially cause confusion 
  • The reason for the name change includes avoiding any debt or criminal prosecution or erasing any criminal or debt history 
  • In case of a child’s name change petition, one parent is objecting to the name change

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Changing the Name of a Child 

If you want to file a name change for your child, then you have to be either the child’s 

  • Parent (with parental rights) 
  • Conservator 
  • Or legal guardian 

When the child is ten years or older, they have to provide written consent to the change of name, which must then be attached to the name change petition.  When determining a name change for a child, the court considers whether the name change is in the best interests of the child.  A lawyer for a name change can make sure the name change petition process for your child runs smoothly, in the event the other parent tries to object.  

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Additional Resources

Texas Statutes | Name Change – Follow the Family Code statute for more information about the name change.  The laws provide additional details on specific details that need to be presented to the state for the petition for name changes to be accepted.  

Fathers4equalrights | Child’s Name Change – A child’s name is an integral part of the child’s identity, so Fathers4EqualRights explains the authority parents have over their kids when applying for a name change, even without the other parent’s consent.  The page advises that a child’s name change is best when both parents agree to it. 

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Attorney for Name Change in Brownsville, Texas

There are instances in which changing your name can seem like an easy thing to do, such as a divorce or separation, but the process can be more complicated than you think.  If you want to change the name of your child or your own last name, the court can question your reason for doing so.  An attorney can provide that extra level of security, so you are confident when your petition is filed.

Hiring an attorney to handle your name change case is an essential step to ensure that your paperwork is done correctly and ensure that the process is done right.  You have to provide specific information related to your name change, such as previous criminal charges or divorce paperwork.  If you missed requesting a name change when you filed your pleadings during your divorce, and your case was finalized without a request for a name change, our attorneys can help answer your questions on what you have to do in order to obtain one post divorce.  At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we can help you begin your application and make sure nothing is missed. 

We work with clients from the counties of Willacy, Hidalgo, and Cameron. Call our office at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential consultation and a high level of care.