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

By Lauren Miller

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.

Step 1

Request a Petition to Change the Name of a Child, a Child’s Consent to Change Name and an Order to Change the Name of a Child form from the district court in your county. You can also download the forms from the Texas Partnership for Legal Access website.

Step 2

Fill out the petition. If the child has two parents or guardians, both must sign the petition. The form includes the names and contact information for the adults, their relationship to the child, the legal status of the child, case numbers of any previous state judgments regarding the child, the details of the name change, including the reason for the request, and the child's vital statistics.

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Step 3

Obtain and fill out a Sex Offender Update form from local law enforcement if the child is a registered sex offender. Attach a copy of the update form to the petition.

Step 4

Sign the petition in front of the notary public. The notary also signs the form and stamps it with their official seal.

Step 5

Explain the purpose of the Child's Consent to Change Name form to the minor if he is over 10 years old. The child must print his current name and proposed name on the form and sign it.

Step 6

Take the documents to the clerk's office in the district court and request to file them. When you file your documents, the court assigns a court date for you and gives you a case number. Appear in court on your assigned date. If a judge determines that the name change is in the best interest of the child, he will approve the name change. The court will complete the name change order.

Step 7

Request a certified copy of the order and take it or mail it to the state's bureau of vital statistics to amend the child's birth certificate.

Step 8

Take a certified copy of the order to the local office of the Social Security Administration to request a replacement card for the minor. You can download the replacement form from the SSA website and fill it out before going to the office.

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How to Change a Child's Name in Texas

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Changing a Child's Name in Ohio

The state of Ohio allows you to petition for a change of legal name for a minor child. The process involves the filing of a petition in the county court where the child resides. There are few restrictions, and the state allows the change for any reason a parent or legal guardian deems sufficient, including religious beliefs. However, Ohio law bars any name changes for fraudulent purposes.

How to Legally Change Your Name in Arizona?

In Arizona it is a fairly simple process to change your name. If you do not like the name you were born with, or you want to use your maiden name after getting a divorce, you can apply to your local clerk of the court of the Arizona Superior Court for a name change.

How to Change Your First Name Legally

The process for legally changing your first name is the same as for legally changing your last name. It differs somewhat from state to state, but in all states you need to ask permission from the court and obtain an order from a judge. This order allows you to change your birth certificate and other documents. In some states, you must also undergo a police check before beginning the name change process, as some people are prohibited from legally changing their name, for example, people on the sex offenders register.

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