The law with respect to name changes varies depending upon whether the change is sought for an adult or child.
The procedure for obtaining the change varies with the circumstances under which the change is sought.
Sometimes, the court has no discretion regarding the change sought, e.g., in a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.
At other times, the court may order the change, but the decision is within the discretion of the court, e.g., the court may order the name of a child changed if the change is in the best interest of the child and certain other requirements are met.
For persons with Felony convictions, special rules apply, and a change of name never releases a person from liability incurred by the person under a previous name or defeats a right the person held under a previous name.
The BEAL LAW FIRM is able to help navigate the laws dealing with name changes.