Change of Name
A person wishing to obtain a change of name must file a petition in the division of the Probate and Family Court located in the county in which the petitioner lives. The Court must request from the Office of the
Commissioner of Probation a criminal record check of the petitioner in the Criminal Activity and Records Information (CARI) system. Public notice of the petition must be given by publication, although the petitioner may file with
the Court a Motion to Waive Publication. A copy of the petitioner's birth record, and copies of a record of any previous name changes, if available, must be filed with the Court. If there are objections to the petition, the
Court will conduct a trial where the objections are heard. The Court can either dismiss the petition or enter a decree permitting the requested name change. If the name change is permitted, the register will issue a
certificate under the seal of the Probate and Family Court, establishing the new name. Additionally, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation must be notified of the name change if the petitioner has a CARI record.
In order to initiate a change of name, you must file with the court the following: (Please note that all forms are in acrobat reader. If you do not have acrobat reader, you can click
here to download the program FREE!)
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings (if this change of name is for a child) Click here for the form
- Certified copy of and prior name changes (marriage certificate, court decree, judgment of divorce, etc.)
- $180.00 filing fee ($165.00 + $15.00 for citation) - cash or money order only
Below are the instructions for Change of Name petitions. Click here to download the following instructions or if you prefer, read the instructions on-line below!
MARRIED ADULTS must have the written ascent of their spouse to their change of name AND must file a certified copy of their marriage certificate.
DIVORCED ADULTS must file a certified copy of their divorce judgment.
MINOR CHILDREN should have the written assents of both parents. One of both parents may sign their assent on the petition itself. For children born out of wedlock we will need a certified copy of an adjudication of
paternity or a voluntary acknowledgement of parents.
A citation for publication and mailing will be sent to you by the Court. You must arrange to have the citation published and mailed according to the instructions given in the Order of Notice on the citation. Mailing must
be by certified mail, return receipt requested. After publication and mailing, return the ORIGINAL citation, with your signature certifying that you mailed and published as ordered, along with a clipping of the notice from the
newspaper and the green return receipt(s), to the Court. ALL CITATIONS FOR CHANGE OF NAME ARE PUBLISHED. If you have good reason that it should not be published you must file a motion to waive publication and an affidavit (a
sworn statement) stating facts as to why you do not wish to have this information published. You may have to be before the Judge personally to explain your reasons.
The decree changing your name will not issue until sometime after the return date shown on the citation.
You may, in some cases, be required to present your petition personally to the Judge.
A criminal record check will be done for all petitioners over the age of 7 years.
Certified copies of birth/marriage/divorce records are usually readily obtainable. If, however, yours is from another state or country and you want it returned to you, you must file a motion requesting its return.