Change child's name one parent
In California, you can ask the court to legally change your child's name. If you are the only parent making the request, you have to file a petition with the court, let the other parent know about it, and go to a court hearing. If your child’s other parent does not agree, they have the right to oppose your request.
If the judge approves your request, you will get a court order (decree) changing your child's name. The court process generally takes up to 3 months.
Choose any part of the process below to get step-by-step instructions.
1. File a petition with the court
First, you fill out and file court papers and pay a fee.
2. Let your child’s other parent know
Next, you have to serve (notify) the other parent in the proper legal way so that they know about your request.
3. Publish your request in a newspaper
You must also publish a notice in a newspaper saying that you are asking to legally change your child’s name.
4. Go to a hearing
In most cases, you'll go to a court hearing. If the other parent doesn’t agree, the judge will hear both sides and make a decision about your child’s name change.
5. Get a decree
If the judge approves your request, you'll get a signed decree. You can use this to change your child’s legal documents, like their birth certificate and passport.