Name

Changes

A party to a divorce proceeding may request from the court a name change to a prior name in the final divorce decree. Unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the name change, it is required that it be granted. The court cannot deny a change of name solely to keep the last name of family members the same.

An adult desiring a name change outside of a divorce proceeding (e.g., failing to change at the time of divorce or for any other reason), will need to file a petition for name change in the county of residence. For the name change to be granted, fingerprints must be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety for a criminal background check. Once that is completed there will be a final hearing. The name change will be granted if the court finds it is in the best interest of the person and the public.

Holly will provide the locations where fingerprint cards can be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety electronically, greatly reducing the time it normally takes to obtain an order for name change.

A minor child's name change may be granted by a court as a part of an ongoing suit affecting the parent-child relationship or in a separate suit for name change. However, if the child has another parent whose rights have not been terminated, a managing conservator or a guardian, that person is entitled to service of citation of the suit to change and may object to the minor's proposed name change by filing an answer. For the name change to be granted, the court will need to find that the proposed change is in the best interest of the child.