The rules for changing a child’s names are more complicated.
To start the name change for your child, file a form called a Petition for Name Change. This form must be typed. You can type right on the form to fill it out. Don’t print it and fill it out by hand.
After you fill out the form, print it out and take it to the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where you are going to file. Do not sign the form until you are in front of the court clerk.
If both biological parents agree to the name change and sign the Petition, the Court changes the child’s name.
If one parent of the child(ren) has died, the living parent can file the Petition.
If one parent does not agree to the name change and won’t sign the Petition, or one parent is not around to sign the Petition, the parent signing the Petition must let the other parent know about the proposed name change.
When you fill out the Petition, make sure you put in the other parent’s last known address. If the other parent doesn’t want to sign, it might be good to talk to a lawyer.
The Clerk will take the Petition and ask you to sign it. They fill in the court date, time, and courtroom number. There has to be a court hearing for a name change for a child. The clerk should give you a copy of the Petition with the stamped filed date, the court date and time and the courtroom number filled in on the form.
Ask the Clerk to serve the other parent by certified mail or by having the Sheriff take the petition to the other parent. Make sure the court date and time and the courtroom number are filled in on the form.
If you have the Clerk mail the Petition, you have to pay the certified mailing fee.
If you want the Sheriff’s office to serve the other parent, the Clerk gives you a second copy of the Petition and summons for you to take to the Sheriff’s office. You have to pay the Sheriff’s Office directly for the service.
At the court hearing, the parent asking for the name change has to tell the Judge why they want the child’s name changed. The Judge decides if the child’s name can be changed.