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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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Rights Recognized in Tampa’s Domestic Partnership Registry

As President Obama today expressed his support for gay marriage, the State of Florida continues to define marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman,” leaving homosexuals in loving relationships in a state of legal limbo.  Attempting to fill in the gap, many local county and municipal governments are passing “domestic partnership registries” which codify certain rights to heterosexual and homosexual partners.  Tampa, for one, has passed an ordinance creating a domestic partnership registry.

Related:  Five Legal Steps Florida LGBT Parents Should Take

[Related:  In A Florida Child Custody Case, Does It Matter That I Am Gay?]

[Related:  In Which County Should I File My Florida Adoption Case?]

Tampa’s domestic partnership law recognizes the following rights for registered partners (to the extent that these rights are not superseded by other laws or ordinances or by contract):

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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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Filing Fees in Pasco County

I previous wrote about filing fees in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.  In this post I review current filing fees in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County, for common family law matters.  A person who initiates a family law case (the “Petitioner”) will pay the following:

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Filing Fees in Pinellas County

I previous wrote about filing fees in Hillsborough County.  In this post I review current filing fees in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County, for common family law matters.  A person who initiates a family law case (the “Petitioner”) will pay the following:

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