How to Change a Minor's Last Name With Divorced Parents in Maryland

By Brenna Davis

A divorce often means a name change for both parent and child. In Maryland, you must file the appropriate forms to change a child's name. If your child is old enough to understand a name change, talk to her about the decision to change her name. A name is an important part of a child's identity, and while a divorce can spark anger and the desire to separate the child completely from your ex-spouse, changing your child's name is not always in her best interest.

Step 1

Ask the clerk of court in the county where the child resides for a Petition for Name Change (Minor), a Notice for Publication and a proposed Order for a Change of Name. If the child is less than one year old, you may not need a court order to change her name. For children older than one year, the court will look at whether the parents, guardians, as well as the child are in agreement with the name change.

Step 2

Fill out the Petition for Name Change (Minor). It is advisable to have all parents or guardians sign separate consent forms. Attach the signed consent forms to the petition. Fill out the Proposed Order for a Name Change, leaving the date and judge's signature blank. Complete the Notice for Publication, leaving the last paragraph blank. Attach the child's birth certificate to the petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

File the documents with the clerk of court at the circuit court in the county where the child resides. Maryland law requires name changes to be published in a local general circulation newspaper. You need to check with the clerk of court to determine if you must publish notice of the name change yourself, or if the clerk will arrange to have it published. If someone objects to the name change, he must file an objection and serve you with a copy. You have 15 days to respond to the objection by filing a written response to the court.

Step 4

Serve a copy of the petition on any parents or guardians who have not consented to the name change, or who have not signed the consent forms. Wait for the clerk to send the petition to a judge. If no one contests the name change after publication of the notice and if all parents and guardians consent, the judge will likely sign the name change order and your child's name will be legally changed. If there is an objection to the name change, the judge will schedule a hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Legally Change Your Last Name in Kentucky
 

References

Related articles

Tennessee Laws on Regaining Maiden Name After Divorce

Taking back your maiden name after a Tennessee divorce is a straightforward matter, and many women include the request in the divorce complaint. If your husband files the divorce, you can request the name change in your answer to the divorce complaint. Restoring your maiden name is a legal and emotional decision. You are not required to change your name after a divorce. If you have children, you may choose to keep your ex-husband's last name as changing your last name will not affect your children's last name. Your ex-husband cannot force you to restore your maiden name.

Family Law on Name Change in Illinois

To file for a change of name in Illinois, you must submit a petition to the circuit court in your county and make an appearance at a court hearing. Illinois law also requires public notice of the petition before the hearing can take place. There are different procedures for changing the name of a minor child or changing your own name after a marriage, civil union or divorce.

How to Legally Change a Child's Last Name in Texas

The Texas Family Code contains the regulations that outline the conditions of changing the name of a minor in the state. Parents, legal guardians or managing conservators, who are court-appointed guardians, may request to alter a child's name for adoptions, custody proceedings and other reasons. Parents must file a petition in the county court where the child resides and pay filing fees.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Minor Child Name Change Laws in Michigan

There are many acceptable reasons to change a child’s legal name. The most common are marriage, remarriage or adoption. ...

How to Change the Last Name of a Child in Georgia

Both parents must agree to change the name of their child in Georgia. Georgia only allows one parent to change the ...

How do I Change a Child's Name on Vital Records in Georgia?

Vital records include items such as birth, death and marriage certificates. For children, the most significant — and ...

Can a Divorced Woman Give Her Child Her Ex's Last Name?

The surname your child carries helps him identify with the rest of his family. Tradition dictates that a woman takes ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED