How to Make a Legal Name Change in West Virginia

By Brenna Davis

There are a number of reasons people change their names, and West Virginia law allows people to change their names by formally petitioning the court and advertising the name change. In some cases, such as marriage, adoption or divorce, you may be able to avoid advertising the name change. If you're unsure of how to proceed with your name change, an online document review service can complete the forms for you, and an attorney can help you if anyone objects to your name change.

Step 1

Determine if you need to file a formal name change petition. If you are a woman getting married, you can add your changed name to your marriage license application. If you are getting divorced, your divorce attorney can ask the judge to incorporate your changed name as part of the divorce decree. Parents who adopt children can change the child's last name as a part of the adoption proceedings.

Step 2

Visit the circuit court in the West Virginia county in which you have lived for at least one year and ask the clerk for a name change petition. Fill out the entire form and include your reason for changing your name. If there are any documents that support your request, include those. For example, if you are recently divorced and wish to change your child's last name to yours, documentation that the other parent is uninvolved or has lost custody could be helpful.

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

Step 3

Return the petition to the clerk and pay the filing fee. If you are requesting a name change for a minor child -- generally someone who is under 18 in West Virginia -- you must serve the child's other parent with the petition so that he has an opportunity to object. Ask the clerk to have the sheriff serve the other parent. There may be a service fee associated with this.

Step 4

Advertise the name change petition as a Class I legal document in a local newspaper. West Virginia law mandates that name changes must be publicized. The notice should give your current name, the change requested and the date of your name change hearing.

Step 5

Attend your name change hearing. You will receive a notice from the court about the time and place of the hearing. At this time, anyone who objects to the name change will be allowed to voice objections, and you may respond to the objections. If no one objects, the judge will sign an order stating that your name has been changed. Forward this order to the Social Security Administration, the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Office of Vital Records.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Change Your Legal Name in New Jersey
 

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Legally Change a Name in Louisiana

Changing your name in Louisiana is a fairly straightforward civil process. District courts in the state’s 40 judicial districts oversee name changes under the jurisdiction of district attorneys. The rules for changing your name, whether you are an adult or minor, are a part of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

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 Old Do You Have to Be to Change Your Name in NYS?

Name changes can be pursued for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are requested as part of an existing legal proceeding, such as a divorce or adoption. In other cases, name changes are brought as independent actions. In New York state, adults over 18 may petition the court for a name change, and minors may do so with the consent of a parent or guardian. Understanding how the court review process differs for adults and minors will shed some light on the name change process in New York state.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Name Change Guidelines in VA

If you want to legally change your name as a result of marriage, divorce, adoption or simply to free yourself of a name ...

How to File Custody Papers in Oregon

Filing for divorce can be incredibly painful, particularly if children involved. In Oregon, divorce and custody ...

How to Legally Change Your Last Name in Kentucky

In Kentucky, any person over the age of 18 who has lived in Kentucky for at least six months may petition the local ...

Filing an Objection to a Name Change in Court

People who decide to legally change their names may do so for love, personal preference, religious beliefs or various ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED