How Can You Change a Minor’s Name in South Carolina?

Our name helps define who we are. Other than getting married, most of us will never change our name. For some people, however, there are lots of reasons why they would need to do this. Whether you’re an adult or you’re looking to change your child’s name, the process can seem daunting. You may have heard horror stories about how difficult it can be. This is why you should rely on an experienced family lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina to handle it for you.

Greenville family attorneys have a lot of experience handling cases like this. Changing your child’s name is very important. You want to make sure it’s done right the first time. If you make a simple mistake, it can set you back months or even a year.

Although the process may seem simply if you look online, there are a lot of pitfalls you need to avoid. Although you have every right to handle the process yourself, we wouldn’t recommend it. There are filing deadlines and formal requirements you have to meet. If you don’t, the court will dismiss your petition and you’ll have to start all over again. It can become very time consuming and expensive.

If you need to change your minor child’s name, you need to call a Greenville family lawyer today. He can help make the process a lot smoother for you and your family.

Why Would You Need to Change Your Child’s Name?

There are several reasons why you may need to change your child’s name. The purpose for the name change is something that court will take into consideration. You shouldn’t change your child’s name unless there’s a good reason to do it.

Some of the legitimate reasons why you may want to change your child’s name include:

  • You’ve gotten remarried and your new spouse will be raising the children
  • The child’s father has passed away or is incarcerated
  • You want all of your children to have the same name
  • Your child now identifies with the opposite gender and you want to change his or her name to match their new identity
  • You have immigrated to the United States and want an Americanized name
  • Your child’s name was incorrect on their birth certificate

For an adult, the court will consider whimsical name changes. They don’t look as favorably on petitioners who wish to do this for their children. Keep this in mind when choosing a new name. You don’t want to spend time and money only to have the court deny your request.

What is the Process for Changing Your Child’s Name?

In order to legally change your child’s name, there is a relatively simple but important process. The following things need to be done in order to complete a legal name change for a child:

  • The parent files a petition with the county court requesting the name change. There are certain forms you need to complete to do this.
  • Pay the filing fee
  • Include the other parent as a party to the case. The only exceptions to this rule are:
    • The other parent is deceased
    • Their parental rights have already been terminated
    • The family court has waived this requirement
  • A guardian ad litum will be appointed by the court. The guardian will interview your child and make sure the name change is in their best interests.
  • The guardian will submit their report and recommendation to the court
  • You will have to attend a hearing
  • The judge will make his final determination
  • If the petition is approved, you’ll have to notify the Social Security Administration and register your child’s new name

The court will review your petition and make a decision. They’ll take the following factors into account when determine if the name change will be granted:

  • How long the child had their previous name
  • The effect of a name change on the child’s day to day life
  • The reason for the change
  • Any harm or difficulty the child will experience as a result of the name change
  • The child’s part of a family unit

The good news is that a Greenville family lawyer can handle this process for you. They’ll streamline the process so you know it’s handled properly.

Contact a Greenville Family Lawyer Today

If you need to change your minor child’s name, you want to call a Greenville family lawyer today. Your lawyer can handle the process for you. This ensures that the process is handled correctly. It also increases your chances of having the petition approved.

Call today and schedule your initial consultation. This decision is too important to leave it up to chance.

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