Name Changes

A person may wish to change their name after a divorce, adoption or an estrangement from family. Any New Yorker, however, may assume a different name, so long as it is not done to avoid financial obligations or to perpetrate a fraud.

The process to change a name in New York is relatively straightforward.  A petition is filed with the Supreme Court in the county in which you reside.  The petition must include the following information: petitioner’s present name and the name to be changed to; his or her current residence, as well as all residences since birth; his or her birth information and biological parent’s names; names of all family members; current occupation, including the address, as well as all positions held over the past five years; education; criminal history; judgments against him or her if applicable; fingerprints; and finally the purpose for the name change. You must also file a fingerprint card with your petition.

Steps to a Name Change in New York:

  1. Petition is filed.
  2. Once the court approves the change an Order will be issued to effect the change.
  3. Notice of the name change is published in a newspaper, unless the judge thinks this will be a risk to your safety.  For example, many domestic violence and hate crime survivors ask that their personal information not be published.
  4. Obtain a new birth certificate from vital records.
  5. Change your name on all official documents.

The above steps only apply to people who are at least 18 years old.  If the name change petition is for an infant or minor child, it must be brought by both of the minor’s parents.  If the minor has two living parents and one parents does not join on the petition, that parent must be served with reasonable notice of the application.  If the non-petitioning parent objects to the child’s name change, the judge will need to be shown that the name change is in the minor’s best interests.

Get a free consultation with a Long Island Name Change lawyer.
The attorneys at Jacoby & Jacoby can help you legally change your name and obtain a new birth certificate.  Contact us at any of our four convenient Long Island locations or online for a free consultation. We are available evening and weekends too.

Medford, NY: 631-289-4600
Miller Place, NY: 631-821-8800
Shirley, NY: 631-281-2234
Nassau County, NY: 888-452-2629

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