St. Louis Name Change Lawyer

What’s in a name? For many people, much more than most may realize. Some may have been married before and wish to return to a former name. Some may simply have received a name they feel haunts and torments so much they wish to have it legally erased. Fortunately, the law allows individuals, even minors, to have a legal name change.

While the procedure is straightforward, we suggest consulting an attorney first. A name change involves more than just freeing yourself of a name you do not like. It also has legal consequences, and some of them may adversely affect other interests of yours, financial and otherwise. The process involves petitioning a court and setting out the legal and factual basis for the name change. Some people rush to have a name change and do so on their own; however, a judge is required to rule on these matters and without the assistance of an experienced name change attorney in St. Louis, there is a greater chance your petition will not be granted.

From divorce to a minor child’s legal adoption, we at The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. can handle any type of name change situation. Contact our skilled attorneys in St. Louis to help with your name change.

How to Change Your Name in Missouri

Any name change request made outside of a marriage or divorce must be conducted by submitting a petition to the circuit court of the county in which the petitioner resides. Name change petition costs are different depending on the county where the petition is filed, but it will likely cost between $150 – $200. Our team will work with you to prepare the necessary paperwork, including an official petition for a legal name change.

In Missouri, your name change petition must include:

  • Your current name and new name desired
  • The reason why the name change is necessary
  • Proof that you reside in the county where you are trying to change your name
  • Your date and place of birth, father’s name, and mother’s maiden name
  • If you are married, the name of your spouse, as well as the names and ages of any children you have and their residence
  • If your name was previously changed, the name of the court that allowed the first name change along with the date a judgment was entered
  • Whether there are any judgments for money against you that have not been paid, and if so, the case information about the judgment
  • Whether there are any court orders involving money or liens pending against you and, if so, the name of the court in which the action is pending
  • Proof that the name change will not be detrimental to anyone else

Our name change lawyers will help you through this process from the drafting of the petition through the final publication process.

Do you have to go to court to change your name?

In Missouri, the law requires a court appearance for all legal name change requests. The experienced name change lawyers at The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. are well versed in these procedures and can guide you through the process and ensure everything is in order for your court appearance.

Why might a name change petition be denied?

Missouri family law judges will not allow an individual to change their name to one that will harm another party. They may require supporting evidence to the contrary if they feel that a name change is being requested in an attempt to defraud another person, avoid legal judgments or actions, or avoid having to repay a debt or other obligation. If a third party objects to the petition, the court will be forced to explore the matter to ensure that the petition is not in violation of its guidelines.

If the legal name change is approved, when is it finalized?

After the court enters its judgment granting the change of name, notice of the legal name change must be published in a local newspaper within 20 days of the judgment being given at least once a week for three consecutive weeks. To do this, you will need to fill out the Request for Publication after Judgment of Change of Name form and file it with your circuit court, then make arrangements for publications with a local newspaper and pay the required publication fee. After the publication period is completed, the publishing newspaper will send you a Notice of Publication. File this notice with the circuit court. Once this has been accomplished, the name change process will be final and you can officially update your identity to reflect your new name by using a certified copy of the court order approving your name change.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can request to nullify this publication requirement.

Name Change After Divorce

A name change could occur as part of a divorce. You can easily revert to your previous last name as part of a divorce, but the divorce petition must include the same statements as a petition for change of name. Once the divorce is final, you may use a certified copy of your divorce decree as proof of name change. Some people may choose to wait until later to revert to their maiden name or to change their child’s name. Whatever your situation is, our attorneys are here to help.

How to Change a Child’s Last Name

In Missouri, in order for a minor (a resident who is under 18 years old) to have their name changed, a petition must be made to the court on their behalf by their parent(s) or legal guardian. Changing the name of a child requires written, notarized consent from each known parent. This written consent must be filed along with the petition for name change.

When determining whether to approve a petition to change a child’s last name, the court will consider the following:

  • Whether the name change is in the child’s best interest
  • The child’s age
  • How the change will affect the child’s relationship with the parents
  • Whether the child may be embarrassed by the change

Can I change my child’s last name without the father’s consent?

Both of the child’s parents must give their notarized consent to authorize the name change. Additionally, if the child is 14 years of age or older, they must also give their written consent. Consent is obtained by filling out the Consent to Minor Child’s Change of Name and signing the document in the presence of a notary public. If you are unable to obtain written consent from the non-consenting parent, the Clerk of Court will send a copy of the petition, along with a notice stating the date of hearing, to the other parent’s last known address by registered mail.

Can I change my child’s last name to my new married name?

Yes, you will just need to include what the new desired last name is and the reasoning for the change in the legal name change petition.

How Our St. Louis Name Change Lawyers Can Help

It is in your best interest to work with an experienced name change attorney to tie up all the loose ends regarding your legal identity. Assets and contracts such as leases, mortgages, and car titles will all need to be changed. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.

Contact Our Name Change Attorneys in St. Louis

Send us an email or call us at 314-993-6300 for an initial consultation with one of our experienced St. Louis family law attorneys.

Family Law