Changing a Child’s Name
The Texas Family Code allows for a parent, a managing conservator, or a
guardian to file a petition with a court to change a child’s name.
The request for name change must be filed prior to the child’s eighteenth
birthday, and if the child is older than ten years, the child must consent
to his/ her name being changed.
A request for a name change is just that, it is a request to the court
to change the name of the child. It is not mandatory that the court change
the child’s name. When a petition is filed requesting the name change,
the person making the request must give notice of the lawsuit to the other
parent, managing conservator, or guardians of the child. These people
that are entitled to notice of the name change lawsuit have the ability
to challenge the requested name change as not being in the child’s
Once the child’s best interest is challenged in regards to the name
change, the person making the name change request can show it is in the
best interest of the child by addressing the following factors:
· Which name would best avoid embarrassment, inconvenience, or confusion.
· Which name would be easier or more convenient for the child.
· Which name would help identify the child as a part of a family unit.
· The length of time the present last name has been used.
· Parental misconduct, such as
not paying child support or not
visiting with the child
· The degree of community respect associated with the present or
· Whether the change will negatively or positively affect the child’s
relationships with parents or family.
· Any delay in requesting or objecting to the name change.
· The preferences of the child.
· The age and maturity of the child.
· If the child is maintaining the mother’s surname, assurances
that the mother will not change that name in the future.
· Whether the parent seeking the name change is doing so to alienate
the child from the other parent.
Contact a Houston Name Change Lawyer today!
A parent can make a request to the court about what they want the name
to be changed to, however a court has complete discretion in what the
child’s name will be, as long as it is in the child’s best
interest. For instance, the court has the ability to decide to hyphenate
the child’s name between both parent’s names if the court
finds that to be in the child’s best interest even though no one
asked the court to hyphenate the name.
After a court grants a name change, you can use the court order to have
the child's birth certificate and social security card changed to
reflect the new name.
I have handled many child name changes, and in my experience they are routinely
granted when there is no challenge from the other side. I also find that
in cases where a parent is not visiting or paying support, those cases
are granted almost unanimously.
If you want to change your child’s name,
please send me an email or call my office at 281.476.9447.
Here at the
Dennis M. Slate, Attorney at Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including
child custody and
grandparent visitation and
custody, etc. We have
3 Houston area locations including Deer Park, Houston, and Porter, Texas. Call our offices today
and we can set an appointment with an attorney: (281) 407-9254.