You can apply for a family name change using a legal form called an Application for Name Change (Form RC DL-2). This form can be downloaded from the Family Justice office and can also be printed. You will need to provide your current and full name, date of birth and your current address. You will also need to provide some basic information about your spouse and your children. Once you complete the form, you will be required to sign it and reproduce it with the proper signature.
It is important that you read the entire application carefully before you begin filling it out. There are a few different things that you should look at. First, you will find that there are many sections of the application including proof of identification and proof of your relationship to your spouse. If you have not had any contact with your spouse in over a year, you cannot apply for a family name change using this form. Furthermore, if you are single and don’t have any children, you may apply for a family name change on your own. Otherwise you will have to file a separate request for proof of relationship.
It may sound like a simple process, but in reality there are a number of things that you need to consider before you apply for a family name change. First, make sure that you fully understand all the requirements for proof of relationship. Sometimes the forms that you fill out may not tell you that certain things are required. So, if you do happen to apply for a family name change and end up with a court order for child support, the judge will require you to provide proof of your relationship with your child or children. Failure to do so may result in a family name change order being filed against you.
Next, you need to be prepared to pay for the legal forms. Most counties now require that you apply for a family name change on your own. This means that you must collect all necessary documents from your county clerk’s office and then file them in the proper manner. Proof of marriage is not enough to change your name legally. Your county clerk will not process the application until you have filed all necessary paperwork.
What happens next depends on your state. Some states allow the county clerk to automatically approve your name change, while others will need an additional processing fee. Also, if your name is common, it can take longer to apply for a family name change. Generally speaking, this will take about a month to several months.
Once you apply for a family name change, you will generally have to wait at least six months before you can officially change your last name. You may also have to wait during the pendency of your divorce case. Many counties are not specific as to the number of months you will have to wait. Some will allow you to apply for a change after three months, but other counties have laws that specify a one-month waiting period.
The easiest way to apply for a family name change is online. You simply fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to your county clerk’s office. They will process the application and submit it to the courts. While this method can save you time, if you have to go to court over your name change, it can cost you hundreds of dollars.
If you cannot afford an attorney, then you may want to hire one. Some attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Others do not charge a consultation fee. During the consultation, they will evaluate the validity of your name change request and recommend whether or not you should proceed with the application. The majority of family lawyers are happy to assist you with any questions you may have, no matter how trivial you think they are.