Being a supportive parent can oftentimes be challenging, but you and your transgender child may have come to the conclusion that it is time for a legal name change. Is it possible to change a transgender child’s name to match his or her identity?
So long as both legal parents are in agreement, in most circumstances you can change your minor child’s legal name.
Petition for Change of Legal Name
In Florida, legal name changes are accomplished through the court system. Accordingly, you will need to petition a court in the county in which you live for your child’s name change. The petition must include information such as:
- The addresses at which you have lived since birth;
- Whether you have ever filed for bankruptcy or had a money judgment entered against you;
- Whether you have been arrested or had your civil rights suspended;
- Any business or professional licenses you have; and
- Whether you are seeking a name change for your child for any illegal or ulterior purpose.
After you file your petition, you will need to get a background check through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI. If your civil rights are suspended (for example, by being convicted of a felony) and they have not been restored, then a court will not grant the name change.
Transgender Child Name Change
If both parents are not in agreement as to the name change, and one parent opposes the change, then most courts are unlikely to change your child’s name. However, if you and your co-parent are in agreement (or if you are a single parent and another parent is not in your child’s life), then most courts will freely change your child’s name. Judges generally do not look at whether the new name matches your child’s gender or the sex listed on your child’s birth certificate.
Traversing the court system by yourself can be daunting, and filling out the paperwork by yourself is difficult. Fortunately, you do not have to do it alone. Family Diplomacy is a welcoming law firm that has helped many clients achieve name changes. Further, we have been on the forefront of defending the rights of LGBTQ clients and children.
Adam B. Cordover is an American Bar Association author and Collaborative Family Law Attorney. Adam was involved in the first same-sex divorce in Florida that challenged the state’s so-called Defense of Marriage Act and constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriages.