For an adult who is newly divorced, the procedure is very simple. Forms are available in the Prothonotary's office of each county to change a married surname to a prior surname. If the divorce was filed in another county or state, the person seeking the name change can file the decree and the name change form in the Prothonotary's office. There is a small fee for the forms and filing.
Colin v. Colin
An adult must file a petition in the Court of Common Pleas to obtain a name change. Instructions and forms are available in this packet for an adult change of name. Parents often wish to change their children's names when they make a new start in life. A name change for a child is simple, if both biological parents consent to the change of name. Both of the biological parents must complete and sign the form on the back of their child's birth certificate.
The form is then mailed to the Department of Vital Statistics.
The Department of Vital Statistics will send the parents a new birth certificate containing the child's new name. A parent must petition the Court of Common Pleas in their county of residence, if the other parent does not consent to the name change. The procedures and forms for filing a name change petition for a child are the same as for an adult. However, the Courts use a different standard in determining whether to grant a name change for a child. The judicial standard for changing the name of a minor is "the best interest of the child. The following matters are usually considered by the Court in determining whether to grant a petition to change a child's name:.
The Court of Common Pleas may issue an order changing the name of any person living in the county. An individual must start the procedure by filing a petition.
After the petition has been filed, the Court will enter an order directing the petitioner to give notice of the name change filing. The Court will also normally order that the petitioner publish the notice. The purpose of publishing the notice is to let the community know that you are seeking to have your name changed.
Anyone who would have a lawful objection to the changing of your name would be given notice by the publication. The notice must be published in two newspapers of general circulation.
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You may publish the notice in a local newspaper in your county of residence or in a nearby county. An official paper for publication of legal notices may also be used. For example, the local county bar association may have a publication for legal notices that you can use. Proof of publication must be presented at the hearing. A copy of the notice taken from the newspaper may be submitted to the Court as proof of publication. However, if the court finds that the publication of the notice would jeopardize the safety of the person seeking the name change, or his or her child or ward, the Court can issue an order waiving the publication of the notice.
The Commonwealth is very concerned that adult individuals will attempt to avoid financial obligation by changing their names.
The parent or guardian of the child may petition the Court for a name change on the child's behalf. It is the responsibility of the petitioner to serve the non-petitioning parent. The notice must be sent by registered or certified mail. Proof of service on the non-petitioning parent must be presented to the Court. The return-receipt should be attached to a certificate of service and submitted to the Court. A petition for a change of name for a child should not be attempted without the advice of an attorney. An attorney will help you to find out if the Court will grant a name change under the particular circumstances of your case.
Pursuant to Act 83 of June 18, , you are now required to be fingerprinted upon filing a Petition for Change of Name. This pamphlet is meant to give general information and not specific legal advice. MidPenn Legal Services in providing this information, is in no way agreeing or implying that it will represent individuals who use the enclosed information.
Although this information is believed accurate at the time of preparation, MidPenn Legal Services assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. Individual situations require individual analysis. If you have specific questions about changing your name contact MidPenn Legal Services.
How we help … Attorney Dana Richardson is specifically qualified to review, evaluate and negotiate contracts and agreements between parties. She has a legally trained and watchful eye for terms, conditions, loopholes and potential pitfalls in any contractual language. Dissolving the partnership of marriage usually takes an emotional toll on each spouse, and that toll is compounded when children are involved. Settling debts, income and assets in a way that is practical and fair to you and your children is what we do. Demonstrating to the Court that our settlement proposal is the most equitably sound and manageable one is where our expertise lies.
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We act on this trust by returning to them the highest levels of legal competence, confidence and privacy possible. Some of our past clients want you to know how we go above and beyond their best expectations. Their success stories can be found here on our website. If you are worried about getting finances during divorce, you may be awarded an APL order, as well as have your legal divorce fees ordered paid by your spouse. Dividing marital assets and debts also creates difficulty and uncertainty during the divorce process.
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The stress of uncertainty while divorce is pending can be heightened when one spouse earns significantly more income than the other. In this case, there may be an income-dependent spouse who can petition the court for alimony pendente lite.
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How we help … Temporary spousal support or APL should be requested as soon as possible because it is often ordered by the court as a measure ensuring that each spouse has equal footing to both maintain their part of the divorce proceedings, and to defend against any issues that arise from them. Divorce can have long-term repercussions when not handled properly.