How to Change a Minor's Last Name in Ohio

By Christine Funk, J.D.

How to Change a Minor's Last Name in Ohio

By Christine Funk, J.D.

In order to change a minor's last name in Ohio, you must be the parent or legal guardian of the child. Except under certain circumstances or after meeting certain conditions, both parents must agree to change a minor's last name. Name changes occur in probate court in the county of the child's residence. Many Ohio counties have minor name change forms and packets available on their websites. Although Ohio has 88 counties, their processes for changing a minor's last name share some steps.

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1. Obtain a certified copy of the child's birth certificate.

In order to apply for a name change for a minor, you must obtain a certified copy of the child's birth certificate. A certified copy usually costs more than a standard copy of the birth certificate, but it's a requirement. You can request one by filling out an Application for Certified Copies (HEA 2709) with the Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics.

2. Complete the documents for filing.

You might be able to fill out and file your documents electronically. If you fill them out by hand, you can use forms provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio. First, fill out the Application to Change Name (Minor) (Form 21.2). If you have the consent of the other parent, complete the Consent to Change of Name of Minor (Form 21.4), which you must have notarized. Additionally, fill in the present and requested name, date of birth, and place of birth of the minor on the Judgment Entry and Certification of Judgment Entry (Form 21.3). Fill out the Notice of Hearing on Change of Name (Form 21.5) as fully as you can.

3. If the other parent does not or cannot consent, obtain the appropriate documents.

If you do not have the consent of the other parent, you must obtain one of the following documents:

  • Proof of Certified Mail service of the Notice of Hearing to a non-consenting parent or legal guardian (proof includes a returned Certified Mail green card or printed delivery confirmation of mail from an online U. S. Post Office Certified Mail Tracker or the undelivered Certified Mail returned to the applicant)
  • A notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that the non-applicant parent's whereabouts are unknown
  • A notarized affidavit attesting the identity of the father is unknown
  • A copy of the death certificate of the deceased parent of the minor

4. File the paperwork with the probate court.

File the paperwork, including the certified copy of the birth certificate, Form 21.2, Form 21.3, Form 21.4, and Form 21.5, with the probate court in the county of the child's residence. Be prepared to pay a filing fee. After you file the papers, the county schedules a hearing.

5. Comply with publication requirements.

You must publish notice of the application and hearing date in a general circulation newspaper in the county of filing. This publication must occur at least 30 days prior to the scheduled hearing. This notice is in addition to notifying the other parent, as described above.

6. Attend the hearing.

When you go to the hearing, you should bring:

  • The child (in some jurisdictions, depending on the age of the child)
  • Valid photo identification
  • Documents establishing paternity, if the name of the father is not on the birth certificate
  • Certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased parent, if applicable
  • Certified order of guardianship, if applicable
  • Proof of notification of parent or affidavit establishing that the parent's identity or whereabouts are unknown

7. Notify relevant parties.

Once the child's name has been changed, notify relevant parties. They might include the child's school, their medical care providers, and their health insurance providers, among others.

If you do not complete the forms correctly, it can result in a denial of the request or a delay in the proceedings. Some people choose to use the assistance of an online legal services provider to guide them through the process.

If you want to change your child's last name, you must have permission from the child's other parent or proof that the other parent has received notification but hasn't responded, is unknown, or is somehow unreachable. Whether you move forward with or without the other parent, you must take the appropriate legal actions of filling out and filing paperwork, paying fees, publishing notice of the process, attending the hearing, and notifying anyone who needs the child's full legal name.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.