Family Law Attorney Assisting West Palm Beach Residents with Name Changes
When you’re seeking a name change after a divorce, or for another reason, you should get advice from someone who has the legal knowledge to help you navigate the processes involved. I am William Wallshein, a West Palm Beach family law lawyer who has spent over 25 years assisting clients in all aspects of family law matters. I can guide you through the various administrative procedures required for changing your name.
Name Change Requirements in South Florida
In Florida, any resident may seek to change his or her name for a number of reasons. Changing your name after a marriage or divorce are common practices, but some people may decide on a name change due to other personal reasons. Petitions for a name change must be filed in the county where the individual resides. There are some restrictions on who can change their names. The petitioner must not:
- Be seeking a name change for an illegal purpose;
- Have been arrested or convicted of a crime;
- Have been declared bankrupt; or
- Have been subject to any monetary judgments issued against him or her.
If none of these restrictions applies, residents may file a petition to change their names by following the proper protocol.
Changing Your Name For Marriage or Divorce
To change your name in Florida, you must notify both the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) of your name change. Changes must be reported to the SSA first, by mail or in person, followed by notifying the FDHMSV. Both agencies require a “certified name-change document” to process a name change. When people are married, they are issued a certified marriage certificate. Likewise, after divorce, people may obtain an official divorce decree. Both documents satisfy the notification requirements for the SSA and FDHMSV.
Proof of your identity and U.S. citizenship is also required for both agencies, and the FDHSMV additionally requires proof of your Florida residency. Fees may be associated with either notification process.
Seeking a Name Change For Other Reasons
If the decision to change your name is for another purpose other than marriage or divorce, you must file a Florida Petition for Change of Name of an Adult. Petitions for name changes must contain certain information, including:
- Present name and desired future name
- Birth date and place
- Father’s name and mother’s maiden name, as well as names of certain additional family members
- All residences since birth, including current residence
- All occupations held in the past five years
- Any former names, and what courts were involved in those name changes
- Purpose of the name change
- Educational information, if petitioner is a professional
- Criminal history
Petitioners must be fingerprinted and pass both state and federal background checks, and they must file the petition in a Florida court. After the paperwork is submitted, a court may hold a name change hearing to rule on the petition. If there are no objections to the change before the hearing date, a judge may grant the petition without a final hearing. After the petition is granted, the judge issues a court order in the form of a Florida Name Change Judgment that qualifies as your certified name-change document to be submitted to the appropriate agencies.
Discuss Your Name Change Petition with a Palm Beach Gardens Lawyer
Filing for a name change can be a time-consuming and complicated process, requiring extensive information as well as organization. I am a Palm Beach Gardens family law attorney who has been helping clients seek official name changes for 25 years. My name is William Wallshein, and I have the knowledge and skill to make sure your petition is filed properly. Whether you are seeking a name change following a marriage or divorce, or for another personal reason, I can assist you in filing your petition in Jupiter, Palm Beach, or other cities in South Florida. Please call 561-533-1221 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation,