NAME written on blocksThis is the next post in my series on changing one’s name in the state of Florida. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also discussed the benefits of retaining a lawyer to assist you with the matter. By retaining counsel, you help to make sure that all of the requirements are met and that the Court’s rules of procedure are followed. This helps to ensure that your matter moves through the system in a timely manner. In this article I will discuss another important topic – the process for completing a name change. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne lawyer. We also serve the rest of Brevard County as well as other Florida areas.

The first step in changing your name in Florida is to obtain a fingerprint report

Before filing a Petition to change your name, Florida requires that you obtain a fingerprint card from local law enforcement. This will provide your criminal history, information regarding if you are currently wanted for an offense, etc. It can take some time for law enforcement to complete this process, meaning that your name cannot be changed in a seemingly overnight fashion. If the records show that you are currently a fugitive from justice, or that you have been convicted of a felony, then you can expect the name change to be denied by the Court. If the background check is clear, then the next step is to file your Petition.

Florida’s Petition for a Name Change will require that you submit information about yourself. This will include items such as your name, whether your name has been changed before, your prior living history, career information, and more. It is important that all information be completed accurately. If all of the required information is not submitted, then the Court is likely to deny your Petition. While most name changes are routine, there are reasons why a request will be denied. These reasons can include the Court finding that you are not actually a resident of Florida, a criminal record, or finding that you are attempting to change your name for some sort of improper/illegal purpose. Consulting an attorney in advance can assist you with understanding whether or not there may be complications in your case.

Florida Courts will hold a hearing to determine whether the name change should be granted

Once the Petition has been filed then the next step in the process is to schedule a hearing with the Court. The hearing tends to be a straightforward matter, but is required under Florida law. The Judge will likely ask a few brief questions and, as long as there are no concerns, grant the name change. The Judge will sign an Order which you must file with the Clerk’s office. This Order must then be noticed to the proper entities so that they can make the appropriate change. These include state and federal entities (such as Social Security). Ensuring that all appropriate entities are identified is important to ensuring that you achieve the desired outcome in your case.

If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne, Florida name change lawyer. I understand that the legal process can seem intimidating. Having someone to assist you can help to ensure that your case goes smoothly. My office prides itself on providing quality service and we look forward to being of assistance. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with an attorney. We also serve the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.