If you’re an adult, you have the freedom to choose the name that you want to go by for yourself. You can even legally change that name according to the law if you choose to do so under most circumstances. As the parent of a child, you also have certain rights to make decisions for that youngster, including, perhaps, what they should be called. However, there are certain rules that need to be followed when it comes to things like name changes in New York and Nassau or Suffolk County Long Island. For instance, the public is entitled to know about any changes someone makes to their name, or the name of the child. That’s why the courts usually require the file for the request for a name change open and viewable to the public. Additionally, name change orders are also published in newspapers before they’re officially complete.
As I often tell my clients, changing your name, or the name of your child isn’t always as simple as just telling the court that you want a name to be altered. Usually, there’s a specific process to follow. For instance, a client will come to me and we draft a petition for a name change that can be submitted to the courts. If the court thinks that someone should be entitled to receive notice that a person’s name is changing, then they will make sure that the notice is delivered (such as a creditor or other parent of a minor child). If the court feels that all relevant parties have had the chance to make their objections heard, they’ll usually grant the name change without any further issue provided there is no reasonable objection to it. Continue reading ›