More often than not, we are plagued with the strange desire to change our name. The process sounds largely appealing, but it comes with a price. The cost of changing your name depends on the state you live in and the type of change you require. While many may change their name on the basis of their own whims and fancies, others might have no choice but to revert their name, like in the case of a divorce.
So, how much does it cost to get a name change?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question. The cost will vary from state to state and depend heavily on your purpose. In general, if you seek a name change, your first step would be to obtain a court order to legally change your name. The estimated cost for the processing will lie between $150 to $436.
As established before, the cost of a name change will differ from state to state. While giving you the total figure, states add up a variety of charges. Hence, your state may throw in some charges that other states may simply overlook. A few of those charges are listed below as follows:
Court filing fees
In order to get the process going, you have to make a visit to the court. The court will get the procedure started and charge a fee for the request to be made official. Although an exact cost isn’t set in place, the filing fee will depend on your state and its respective requirements.
Certified copy fees
A photocopy with an official seal, this certified photocopy has a fee that varies according to the area and length of the document. Usually, the cost for obtaining this certified copy is $20 or less.
The task at hand will also require you to make a visit to publication houses to get your notice published. In order to effectively publish your notice in the newspaper, a fee will be charged. The amount of this fee will depend on your state’s own laws.
Changing document fees
You’ll have to pay a hefty amount to your attorney when s/he prepares the name change documents. If someone objects to your decision of a name change, you will have to hire a lawyer to represent you during the hearing (additional fee to pay the attorney.)
Changing birth certificate fee
By now, you have probably started to understand how much does it cost to get a name change. A name is your identity since birth and if you decide to opt for a name switch, then you must be prepared to make amends to your birth certificate. Changing the name on your identity certificate will also cost a certain amount of money, which will have to be paid by you.
It is important to note that the costs associated with a name change will depend heavily on your purpose. Here are a few of the occasions where you might consider the idea of changing your name. Upon reading these cases, you’d have a fair idea of how much does it cost to get a name change.
Usually, most women take their husband’s names after marriage. If you’re planning on going with the traditional method, the process will be fairly simple and less costly. All you need to do is edit the name on all your official documents by providing a verified copy of your marriage certificate. In such a case, you are not required to file a petition with the court.
However, if you’re going to go by the road less traveled and considering adopting a less traditional name after marriage- having the husband take the wife’s name or keeping both spouse’s names on the certificate. If you plan on taking this route, you will most likely have to petition the court for name change. After sending a petition, you will get the exact idea about how much does it cost to get a name change.
If you happen to change your name after marriage but want to revert back to your maiden’s name, you can appeal for the change of name at the time of the final divorce decree. This method, if followed, can help ease up the process to get your name changed. If all goes well, a certified copy of the divorce decree would be more than enough to make changes in your name on all your documents.
However, if you did not ask for this change at the time of the divorce decree, you will have to take the longer route: Petition the court for changes in your official name. If you have children and their names are to be changed as well, you’d have to follow a similar pattern to petition the court.
Can minors change their name?
As of now, no law allows minors under the age of 18 to change their name themselves. If they are to change their name at all, a parent or the legal guardian must file for the petition. Most of the process and steps to change a minor’s name is similar to that of an adult’s, however, the parent filing the petition must inform the other parent of this change in name.
However, if a parent isn’t in touch with the other parent and has no idea about their whereabouts, the process becomes a little tougher. If that’s the case, the parent must extend all his/her efforts in trying to locate the other parent and if all efforts prove to be futile, a notice of the name change will have to be published in the newspaper.
Hence, if you are considering the idea of changing your name, you must assess your situation and the respective process that needs to be followed. A name change is a fairly simple legal proceeding- only if you follow all the court’s instructions and oblige with all of your state’s policies.
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