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File to change the name of a child under 18

Parents have the right to change the name of their child under age 18.

Probate and Family Court

The Details

What you need

You must have legal custody of your child to ask for a name change. If parents cannot agree on a child’s name, the court will decide based on the best interest of the child. If a child is born out-of-wedlock, the court may consider other factors.

You must file the following forms:

  • Petition for Change of Name
  • Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody Proceedings

For children born to unmarried parents, you will need a certified copy of an adjudication of paternity or a voluntary acknowledgement of the parents. If you do not live with the child’s other parent, you will need to send a copy of the petition to them by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you do not know the other parent’s current address, send it to the last known address. If it cannot be delivered by the post office, file the returned envelope unopened with the court.

Fees

Name Fee Unit
Filing Fee $150 each
Surcharge $15 each
Fee for Citation (Notice) for publication, if required $15 each
Filing fee for a motion to change name during divorce nisi period (if not requested on divorce complaint or petition) $100 each

How to file

You can file your request to change the name of your child at your local Probate and Family Court. If you are seeking a name change for a minor who is the subject of a pending proceeding in the Juvenile Court, you may file for a name change in that Juvenile Court. 

More info

You may be required to publish a citation in the newspaper if you do not get actual notice of the petition to the other parent. Otherwise, file the green certified return receipt postcard with the court showing the copy of the petition was delivered.

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