Name Changes in Collin and Dallas Counties by Bo Kalabus

In the state of Texas, an adult who wishes to change his or her name must be a resident of Texas for at least six months and must file a Petition in the District Court of the county where he or she resides and must be a resident of said County for at least ninety days as detailed above. The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to assume, the reasons for the change and other personal information required by statute. The Petition must be verified.

The party filing the Petition for the name change of an adult shall present to the District Court, upon filing of the Petition, a set of fingerprints of the person whose name is to be changed–the purpose of the fingerprints is so that a background can be conducted. The Petitioner shall be responsible for the costs of obtaining fingerprints and other costs which may be incurred upon filing.

Once the Petition for name change is filed, the next step is to set it for hearing, to ask the Judge to approve the name change. At the hearing, the Court will hear and determine all matters raised by the Petition and to render final judgment or decree thereon. The Court may then proceed to enter an Order of approval of name change.

The granting of a Petition for change of name is discretionary with the Court, and the Court may deny a Petition on grounds, which would not constitute lawful objection. For an Order of name change to be granted, the Court must find sufficient reasons for the change and also find the name change in the interest or to the benefit of the Petitioner and in the interest of the public. A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person cannot change their name to defraud another person.

The law which governs name changes in Texas is Texas Family Code, chapter 45.

Although a non-lawyer can petition the court for a name change, there are various procedural hurdles to clear before the name change can be granted by the court and a lawyer should be retained to ensure the process goes smoothly with the least amount of time wasted.


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