How to Change a Child's Last Name in Indiana

by Anna Assad
    The name change needs to be in the best interest of the child.

    The name change needs to be in the best interest of the child.

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    You can change your minor child's last name in Indiana by filing the proper paperwork in the Indiana county circuit court and following all the notice requirements set out under state law. A minor child's last name can be changed in Indiana for various reasons, such as adoption or the taking of a stepparent's last name, but the court must find that the change is in the best interest of the child and won't harm the child's well-being.

    Step 1

    Visit the Indiana county circuit you plan to file the name change in, which is typically the county you live in. Ask the clerk for the verified petition for name change for a minor with other parental consent packet. The packet contains all the forms needed with instructions.

    Step 2

    Complete the appearance form. You need your name and your address for legal document delivery. Complete all items on the form; check the instructions if you're not sure whether a question applies to you. Sign and date the form.

    Step 3

    Complete the minor name change petition. You need the child's current name, address, date of birth, state identification number (if any), any other names the child had before and what you will bring to court to prove the child's U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Enter the reason for the name change, as required under Indiana law, and what the new name is. Sign and date the form.

    Step 4

    Bring the consent to name change of minor form to the child's other parent or legal guardian. Ask the parent to complete the form. He needs name, address and the child's current and new names. Have the parent sign and date the form.

    Step 5

    File the petition and consent forms in the Indiana county circuit court. Ask for stamped copies. Pay any associated fees. Wait seven days before proceeding, as required under Indiana law.

    Step 6

    Contact a local newspaper with general circulation in the county you're filing the petition in. Place a legal notice of the name change petition in the paper. The notice must include the petitioner's name, the date the petition was filed, the child's current and new names, the court name, and the case number, location, date and time of the hearing. The notice must also contain wording that indicates that any person can attend the hearing to object to the proceeding. You can use the fill-in notice provided in the packet. The ad must run for at least 3 weeks. Ask for a copy of the notice.

    Step 7

    Ask the newspaper for an affidavit of publication once three weeks has passed. Wait 30 days before proceeding, as required under Indiana law.

    Step 8

    Complete the notice of filing proof of publication form. Attach the notice copy and the affidavit of publication to the form. File the form in the Indiana county circuit court. Pay fees.

    Step 9

    Attend the hearing. The child's name will be legally changed if the Indiana circuit court grants the petition and issues an order.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Ask for the form packet for minor name change without other parental consent if the other parent has no legal rights to the child, abandoned the child or committed a crime against the child. Check the court rules if you're not sure whether you need other parental consent.
    • Visit the official website of the Indiana Courts to print and download the packets.
    • The final day of the last week of the notice newspaper publication must be at least 30 days before the name change hearing.
    • Filing fees vary by county, and the cost of running the legal notice depends on the newspaper's rates.

    About the Author

    Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

    Photo Credits

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