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In Pennsylvania, you can legally change your name for virtually any reason. Whether it is due to marriage, divorce, for professional purposes or for personal reasons, our attorneys will make it easy for you to understand and complete the legal process.
Certain steps are required by statute before the court can change your name. When the name change is not due to adoption or marital status change (due to your marriage/divorce or the death of a spouse), then a Petition must be filed with the court and you and your attorney must appear at a hearing.
Generally, the court will order the name change if statutory process is met, which ultimately proves to the court that you are not dodging creditors (debt collectors, liens, etc.), criminal prosecution, and/or that any concerns with your criminal records and history are properly addressed in the process. Thus, fingerprinting and submission to the Pennsylvania State Police is generally required as is publication of notice of the name change proceeding in two newspapers.
When the name change is for a minor, the statute requires that the other parent be given proper notice and proof that the notice provision was met and must be presented to the court at the hearing. In Pennsylvania, if the biological or adoptive parent of a minor child changes his or her name legally, then the minor child’s surname will also be changed, unless there is a court order stating otherwise.
There is a section of Pennsylvania law that specifically addresses the process for name changes due to divorce, marriage, etc. When there is a divorce action filed, any time prior to or after the entry of the divorce decree, a party may resume any prior surname used by him or her by filing a notice with the court. A similar notice accompanied by a death certificate can also be used by a surviving spouse to change his or her name to a prior surname.
Regardless of the process you need for your name change, our attorneys can help you through the process.