Occasionally, an adult would like to legally change their name. Texas provides an avenue for adults to accomplish this goal.
An adult may desire to change their name for a number of reasons. Perhaps a woman would like to revert back to using her maiden name after a divorce. Or a person has been using an alias for several years and would now like to make that their legal name. Maybe even the parties have entered into a common law marriage and the wife would like to take her husband’s last name. The reasons for seeking a name change are endless.
Process of a Name Change
As with any legal proceeding, the person seeking the name change in Texas must first file a petition with the Court. This can be done in the county where the adult resides. There is no statutory time limit as to when an adult can file for a name change.
The name change petition must include the following information:
- Name, address, and other personal information;
- Whether the petitioner is subject to the sex-offender registration;
- Reason for the name change; and
- New name requested.
The petitioner must sign the name change petition under oath and submit a legible and complete set of fingerprints to the Court. Because the petitioner is the only party involved, there is no requirement of service or hearing. Once the Court has received all the necessary documents, the petitioner may appear to finalize the name change.
Approving the Name Change in Texas
However, approving a name change is completely discretionary with the Court. The Court will consider following factors when contemplating whether to grant a name change, among others:
- The name change is in the best interest or benefits the Petitioner;
- The name change is in the best interest of the public; and
- The final outcome if the Petitioner has been convicted of a felony.
Generally, a Court will grant a name change unless there is some wrongful, fraudulent, or capricious purpose, or the Petitioner is trying to avoid criminal liability or creditors.
Effects of Name Change
If granted, a name change in Texas generally allows the adult to use the new name for all legal purposes. The name change, does not however, release the adult from any liability incurred under the previously used name.
For more information on a legal name change in Texas, please contact Ashley J. Scott online or at (713) 255-2097.