Adults most commonly change their name in relation to marriage and divorce. There are, however, a variety of circumstances when an adult may desire to change his/her name absent a marriage or divorce, such as a preference for a name other than one’s given birth name and symbolic association between blended families. Regardless of the reason why you want to change your name, the State of Texas has established a simple 3-step process:
- File a Petition for Change of Name of Adult
To initiate the name change process, a Petition for Change of Name of Adult (the “Petition”) must be filed with the court.The individual wishing to change his/her name is referred to as the Petitioner.The Petition must be filed in the county of where the Petitioner resides.The Petition must include several pieces of required information, including identifying biographical information, criminal history information and the reason why the change of name is being sought.
- State and Federal Background Checks
After the Petition has been filed with the Court, the Petitioner must undergo state and federal background checks.The background check process involves the Petitioner having his/her fingerprints taken by an approved organization, such as MorphoTrust USA.The Petitioner’s fingerprints are then submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) for background checks.After DPS and the FBI have completed the background checks, the results are filed with the Court.
- Court Hearing
The final step in the change of name process for an adult is attendance at a Court hearing.At the Court hearing, the Petitioner must provide verbal testimony as to his/her identity, the new name he/she wishes to have and the reason why the change of name is sought.After the required testimony has been provided, the Judge will sign an Order granting the change of name.The Court hearing is then concluded.
After a successful change of name, it is important that you provide your new legal name to various government entities, such as the Social Security Administration, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, and DPS so that all official government records reflect your new name.You should also consider updating all personal, educational, medical and financial records.
If you are interested in obtaining a change of name, contact The Springer Law Firm at (281) 940-3244 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys who can guide you through the change of name process.