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Name Changes After Divorce in Florida

Panama City Family Law Attorney

For some people, changing a last name is just one more step they need to take to break off with the past and move forward. Depending on your circumstances, a name change for you and/or your child can be simple or complex. Before you act, you may want to consult a family law attorney about the ramifications of these actions, and to determine what steps you would need to take. At Seaton Law Offices, P.A., we are ready for all your questions and to provide you the legal counsel that you need.

Changing Your Name Because of Divorce

The easiest way to revert to your previous last name would be to include the name change when you file for divorce. This will save you time and money. An option for changing your name is usually included in the divorce form itself. You would then want a certified copy of the judge's signed order of your divorce. If you did not take steps to include a name change in your divorce, then you will want to consult an attorney about the next steps. You may be able to amend your divorce form to take care of the name change. Outside of using the divorce paperwork, the form you usually need to fill is the Florida Petition for Name Change. Then you will have to move on to informing everyone about your new (or newly regained) name. This includes friends and family, Social Security and the DMV, your employer, the post office, banks, and more.

Changing Your Child's Name

A judge will agree to change a child's name if it is deemed to be in the child's best interests. A name change will have no effect on court orders such as custody or support. This process will be simple enough—if there are no objections. If both parents file for the name change, or if one parent files and the other does not object, then a judge is likely to grant it. If you file and the other parent objects, however, you will need to attend a hearing. If you file only for a name change for your child, you will also have to notify the other parent in most cases. You do not have to notify the other parent if he cannot be reached, or he has abandoned the child. A judge may not require you to inform the other parent if there is a history of domestic violence either. If the other parent does not attend the hearing, then a judge may be disposed to grant your name change request.

A judge will consider:

  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • Whether or not the child should take on a new family name (if mother remarries)
  • How long the child has had his or her current last name
  • The wishes of the child
  • How a name change could alter the child's relationship with either parent

Get a Panama City Divorce Attorney on Your Side

As with any legal process, it can be invaluable to consult a lawyer. When you need legal representation, a family law attorney from Seaton Law Offices, P.A. can help you understand what you to do to move on to the next chapter in life. The firm is committed to providing clients with outstanding service. Please do not hesitate to call a Panama City family law attorney with any questions.

To learn more about what the firm can do for you and your family,
contact Seaton Law Offices, P.A. today!

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