Legally changing your name is more than just a personal decision. To have your new name legally recognized, you must follow Florida statutory law. If you are interested in a legal name change, here is how you can do so.
Section 68.07 of the Florida Statutes governs the process of how a Florida citizen may obtain a legal change in name. All individuals who wish to change their name must follow the procedural steps outlined in this statute, which is why it is helpful to seek the help of a Florida family law attorney who is familiar with the nuances of this statute.
Before diving into the particulars of the statute, it is worth noting that this statute does not address the restoration of the maiden name in a divorce, nor does it address changing a child's name. To restore a maiden name, a spouse may simply request that the judge restore the maiden name in the final divorce judgment. And, to change a child's name, Florida paternity and adoption statutes are used to make these legal changes.
So, what name changes apply to Section 68.07? Primarily, this section addresses any name change outside the scope of a Florida divorce scenario. Florida adults who wish to change their legal name must, as outlined in the statute, file a petition for a name change in the county where they live. Additionally, the petition must be signed and notarized. The petition will then be verified and must show:
The petitioner is a bona fide resident of and domiciled in the county where they are seeking a name change
If known, the petitioner's date and place of birth, the petitioner's parents' place of birth and names, and where the petitioner has lived since birth
If married, the name of the petitioner's spouse, the names of any and all children and the locations of where they live
If the petitioner's name has been changed before, and how many times it has been changed if so
Whether the petitioner has charged with or found to have committed a criminal offense
Whether the petitioner has ever been required to register as a sexual predator under Florida law
The petitioner's occupation and where they have been employed
This is not an exhaustive list of the statutory requirements for changing a name legally, but it captures the broad snapshot of the questions that must be answered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Damien McKinney, Teresa Prescott
Damien McKinney has been practicing family and marital law for over ten years.
Your family is his passion.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
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