LEGAL NAME CHANGE FLORIDA

You may have many reasons for wanting to change your name. Maybe you want to honor a loved one. Maybe you have rethought your decision on your name after a proceeding for divorce or adoption. Or maybe you simply do not like your name. Whatever the reason, subject to narrow legal exceptions, Family Diplomacy will guide you through the process of legally changing your name.

ELIGIBILITY FOR NAME CHANGE

The following individuals may seek a change of name: (i) an adult; (ii) an adult on behalf of a minor child; and (iii) an adult on behalf of a family. Each adult seeking a name change must submit his or her fingerprints for a state and national criminal history records check. Once a petition for change of name is filed, the request will often be granted unless a Court finds that (i) the petitioner has ulterior or illegal motives in seeking the name change, (ii) the petitioner’s civil rights are suspended, or (iii) granting the name change will invade the property rights (e.g., intellectual property rights) of others.

SWIFT AND COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION FOR A NAME CHANGE

At Family Diplomacy, we will work with you to change your legal name as swiftly and cost-effectively as possible. We understand that your time is valuable, and you do not want to be bogged down in the paperwork associated with a name change. Further, we understand that you do not have unlimited funds to devote to your name change. Accordingly, we will develop a specifically tailored plan to fit your name change needs.

Correcting Your Birth Certificate in Florida

Since the passage of the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005, more and more Florida residents are finding that they cannot renew their Florida Driver’s License because the name printed on their birth certificate or social security card does not match the name they have been using.

It could be because they assumed the use of a name without changing any of their official  documents.  It could be because of a spelling error on the birth certificate or social security card. Or it could be because they have unknowingly been going by a name different from the name printed on their birth certificate.  These problems can usually be corrected by petitioning for a legal change of name.

Here’s an example:  I had a client whom I will refer to as “Jane Smith.”    She was born in New York, and now she lives in Pasco County, Florida.  She’s been known her whole life as Jane Smith, her parents always called her Jane Smith, and so, for good reason, she thought her name was Jane Smith.

One day, Jane helps her mother clean out her attic.  While going through some boxes, Jane finds a New York birth certificate for a “Jamie Smith.”  What is more, Jamie Smith’s date of birth is listed as one day earlier than the day Jane Smith has been celebrating her birthday.

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Man Legally Changes His Name To Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop Bop-Bop

Different names sound strange to different people.  I have come across names, both foreign and domestic, that I sometimes have trouble pronouncing.  But this one is a doozey: Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop Bop-Bop.

Beezow, a Wisconsin man formerly known as Jeffrey Drew Wilschke, has not had much success since his name change: According to CBS News, Mr. Bop-Bop was recently arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a probation violation.  This has led to an outcry for the freedom of Beezow, including the following clip:

So, in Florida could you legally change your name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop Bop-Bop?  You may be surprised, but the answer is…probably yes.

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New York Recognizes Gay Marriage. Do Floridians Have Options?

Beginning July 24, 2011, gay couples in New York will be able to apply for a marriage license.  This will make New York the sixth and largest state to recognize gay marriage.

Florida, unlike New York, does not permit gay marriage, nor does it recognize civil unions.  But there are things that partners can do to symbolize their love for one another and create certain rights and responsibilities.  You just have to be creative.

Let me give you an example.  One of the services that my firm offers is that we represent clients in name change matters.  I have heard all different reasons why a client wants a name change, including that he or she (a) has done some things he or she is not proud of and wants to turn a new leaf, (b) wants to take on the qualities of a religious or historical figure by taking on part of that figure’s name, and (c) simply does not like his or her name.

One day, a young woman came in for a consultation, and she had a touching story to tell me.  She said that she had been dating her partner for several years, and that they wanted to get married.  But, of course, Florida does not permit gay marriage.  However, this woman decided to declare her love and commitment by legally taking on her partner’s last name.  I was able to guide her through the judicial process of symbolically affirming her dedication to her partner through a name change.

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Video: Ron Artest Filed to Change His Name. How Do You Change Your Name?

As discussed by the video below, NBA player Ron Artest has filed to change his name to Meta World Peace:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsKIao4HrJA

So how do you legally change your name in Florida?

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Video: Name Change

The following video from lawinfo.com discusses name changes:

In Florida, name changes are governed by section 68.07 of the Florida Statutes.

A person can file for a change of name in the circuit court of the county where he or she resides.  Within the petition, which must be signed under oath, the person needs to make sure that he or she has provided all of the required information, including the following:

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Name Change: Where do I petition?

If you are looking to legally change your name you may be wondering:  Where do I file a petition?  Do I have to go to Tallahassee?  Do I file in the circuit court of the county where I was born?  Can I request that a circuit court in the county where I live change my name?

Section 68.07, Florida Statutes, and relevant case law, provides an answer…

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Can You Name Yourself “Facebook?”

In commemoration of the role that the social networking site played in the recent upheaval in Egypt, a man has named his newborn baby girl “Facebook.”   According to a translation by TechCrunch.com, the following announcement appeared in Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram:

A New Day

Man Names His Newborn Girl Facebook

A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook” Jamal Ibrahim (his name.) The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name. A name [Facebook] that shocked the entire world.

Naming your child “Facebook” at birth in Egypt is one thing.  But could you legally change your name (or your child’s name) to “Facebook?”

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Name Change: Restoring Civil Rights

When a party files a petition for change of name, that party must swear under oath that his or her civil rights have never been suspended or, if civil rights have been suspended, they have subsequently been restored.  This requirement is found in Section 68.07, Florida Statutes.

When are civil rights suspended?  In general terms, civil rights are suspended when a person is convicted of a felony.  Those lost rights include the right to vote, hold public office, or serve on a jury.

Florida, like most states, provides for a process of restoration of those rights.  The person must apply to the Office of Executive Clemency.  In determining whether to grant a restoration, the Executive Clemency Board will consider, among other things, the following:

  • The nature of the offense;
  • Whether the applicant has any history of mental instability, drug or alcohol abuse; Read more

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Christian Names

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Christian Names (Photo from EPA via The Daily Telegraph)

As celebrities have gotten much attention for giving their children names such as Apple, Brooklyn, and Princess, Pope Benedict XVI called for parents to give their children traditional Christian names, The Daily Telegraph reports.

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Name Change Statute (Section 68.07, Florida Statutes)

Change of name.—

(1)Chancery courts have jurisdiction to change the name of any person residing in this state on petition of the person filed in the county in which he or she resides.

(2)

(a)Before the court hearing on a petition for a name change, the petitioner must have fingerprints submitted for a state and national criminal history records check, except if a former name is being restored. Fingerprints for the petitioner shall be taken in a manner approved by the Department of Law Enforcement and shall be submitted electronically to the department for state processing for a criminal history records check. The department shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing. The department shall submit the results of the state and national records check to the clerk of the court. The court shall consider the results in reviewing the information contained in the petition and evaluating whether to grant the petition.

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