Generally, when an adult wants to legally change his or her name, the courts grant the request.  However, they may not do so if the purpose for the name change is fraudulent or for some capricious purpose.  As an example, if a person wants to avoid his creditors, the courts would not grant your request.  Once the request is granted, the adult may use his or her new name for all legal purposes.  It does not defeat any right the adult had under the previous name.  The name change does not release the adult from any liability that existed under his or her previous name.

Any adult can file a petition to change his or her legal name.  Any adult desiring to do so must file the request in the county where he or she resides.  There is no time limit for an adult to seek a name change, unlike a name change for a child.  For a child, the change must be done before he or she becomes 18 years of age, marries, or has the disabilities of minority removed.

Steps to Your Name Change as an Adult

An adult seeking a name change must file a lawsuit.  The lawsuit must state the following:

  1. The adult’s present full legal name, place of residence, and whether he or she has been the subject of a final felony conviction.
  2. The petitioner’s sex, race, date of birth, identification numbers (such as Social Security number, driver’s license numbers used during the preceding 10 years, and other numbers showing if the person has a criminal history).
  3. The reason why the adult is requesting the name change.
  4. The new full name the adult is requesting.
  5. Other allegations about whether the person has been convicted of certain offenses or whether the person must register as a sex offender.

The petitioning adult must include a legible and complete set of fingerprints on a fingerprint card.  The format of the fingerprint card must be acceptable to the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI.

The petition must be verified.  The petitioner should ask in writing that the court clerk omit or redact his or her Social Security number from the petition.  The name change petition for an adult is a public record.  People are concerned about identity theft.

The lawsuit must state if the petitioner was charged with any offense above a Class C misdemeanor and, if so, the case number and court if a warrant was issued or a charging instrument was filed or presented for the offense.

Name Change Being Granted

The name change may be granted if the petitioner alleges and proves that the name change is in the interest or benefit of both the petitioner and the public.  If the name change is granted, the person can then apply for a change-of-name certificate from the court clerk.  There is a $10.00 fee for the certificate.

If you would like more information about a name change for an adult,  please contact KIM PETTIT at the Law Office of Kim M. Pettit at (210) 558-4572 or request a consultation below.