A name change can, and most often times is a very simple proceeding. With an attorney’s help, you can quickly and easily change your child’s name.
First, while not necessary, you should meet with an attorney. The attorney will ask you questions about you and your child. This information is gathered so that the attorney can prepare the Petition For Change Of Name. The questions may include the following:
- How long you have lived in Oklahoma;
- How long you have lived the county in which you plan to file the petition;
- Your child’s birth certificate number and where the birth certificate is registered; and
- Why you want to change the name of your child.
As explained above, the attorney will use this information to draft the Petition. Once the Petition is drafted, the attorney should call you to go over the Petition. At this time, you will look over the Petition with your attorney, ask any questions you may have, and correct any errors or omissions in the Petition. After going over everything, you will sign a verification. Verification is like an affidavit; it certifies that you read the Petition and that everything stated in the Petition is true and accurate. This verification will be notarized, and most attorneys have a notary public in their office.
Once the Petition is finalized and the verification is signed and notarized, the attorney will file the Petition. As of today’s date, the filing fee for a Petition For Change Of Name is $154.14 in the state of Oklahoma. However, this fee may change.
When the attorney files the Petition, he/she will also get a hearing date from the judge. It is important that the attorney schedule the hearing far enough out so that proper notice can be given to all parties to whom notice is due. Providing notice in a Change of Name proceeding is different and in many ways simpler, than in other civil proceedings. It only requires notice be published once in a newspaper (one that is authorized to publish legal information) ten days prior to the hearing in the county in which the Petition is filed. The price for publishing your notice will depend on the newspaper in which you publish.
After all of the procedural hurdles have been jumped through, the matter will come on for hearing. Unless there is a disagreement (what in legalese we call contested), the judge should order the change of name without any problem. If the matter is contested, the judge will hear testimony from both sides and make a ruling based on what is in the best interest of the child.
After the change of name has been ordered, you or your attorney will write a letter to the Department of Vital Statistics (in the state where the birth certificate is registered) notifying them of the change of name and including with the letter a certified copy of the Order For Change Of Name. In this letter, you will also ask for a new birth certificate for your child, which includes his/her new name. The price for obtaining a new birth certificate may vary from state to state and may periodically change. Since last checked, in Oklahoma, the cost was $40.00.
If you have any questions about changing your name or your child’s name, please feel free to contact us by phone at 918-782-0000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.