How can I change my name?

How do I change my child's name?

Q: How can I change my name?

A name change must be requested through the county family court where the person seeking the name change lives.  If the person wanting the name change is seeking a divorce (i.e., is the Plaintiff), the request can be made in the Complaint , or the Defendant spouse can request the name change in the Answer and Counterclaim.  If a single or married person who is not seeking a divorce wants to change his or her name, than a petition requesting the name change must be filed in the appropriate county family court.  This petition must state the reason for the change, the petitioner's age, his or her place of residence and birth, and the name by which s/he desires to be known.  Also, the person must provide the following with the petition to the family court:

*   The results of a fingerprint and criminal background check conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division.

*   A screening statement from the Department of Social Services that indicates whether the person is listed on the Department's Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.

*   An affidavit, signed by the petitioner and notarized, that indicates whether the petitioner is under a court order to pay child support or alimony.

*   A screening statement from the State Law Enforcement Division that indicates whether the person is listed on the division's sex offender registry. 

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Q: How do I change my child's name?

Changing a child's name is a bit more complicated than changing an adult's name.  A parent who desires to change the name of his or her minor child may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate county. The other parent must be named as a party in the action unless waived by the court.  If there is no other parent, then the child must be named as a party in the action.  The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child.  Before the court will grant the petition for a child's name change, the court will make a determination as to whether the name change is in the best interest of the child.

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The Law Office of Judith Ann Whiting assists clients with Estate Administration, Elder law, Adoption, Divorce and Family Law in South Carolina including Columbia, Sumter, Winnsboro and Lexington.

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1408 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| Phone: (803) 256-7513
P.O. Box 5815, Columbia, SC 29250
| Phone: (803) 256-7513

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