Guidance Through The Name Change Process
A legal name change sounds simple enough, but in Pennsylvania, the process can be difficult and complicated. You must follow every required step in the right order at the right time, or the court will deny your request and you will have to start over.
Unfortunately, many people come to me after attempting it themselves and becoming frustrated. I am family law attorney Angela Flouras Rieck, and I help individuals and families throughout Lancaster County with a wide range of legal issues, including legal name changes. I guide people through the process so they can avoid unnecessary delays and extra fees.
Changing Your Name As An Adult
Your name is an important part of your identity. You may want to change your name after a divorce to signify a fresh start and sever ties to your ex-spouse. You may want to change your given name to match your gender identity. You will have to follow several steps, including:
- File a petition with the court
- Publish notices in two publications
- Conduct searches in several county offices
- Appear for a hearing
The process may be easier for someone changing their name following a divorce than for other reasons. Ultimately, the law was created to make sure you are not trying to defraud anyone, like evading creditors or hiding a criminal record.
Changing A Child’s Name
If both parents consent to changing the name of a minor child, the process can be quite simple. In many cases, however, a child’s name change is sought by only one parent. In such cases, the requesting parent must go through the petition process with the court. The judge then determines if the name change is in the child’s best interests. Simply having custody of the child is not enough. I can help you understand the process that you need to go through and advocate for you.