Alabama Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your/one's name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your/one's name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions, which involve a minor, our materials are strictly for use if both parents consent to the name change. If one parent does not consent, our materials are not appropriate. The applicant may wish to contact a local lawyer, bar association, etc.

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

General Summary of Name Change Laws in Alabama for an Adult

In Alabama, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Probate Court with appropriate forms. The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in Alabama begins with the filing of a Verified Petition with the Probate Court in the jurisdiction in which the Petitioner resides. As indicated above, the Petitioner (the person who initiates the suit/application) must have lived within the State of Alabama and the County in which they will be filing their application in for at least one (1) year.

The Verified Petition includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Petitioner's name and the new name the Petitioner wishes to adopt.

After filing the Verified Petition and other appropriate forms and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will schedule the Petitioner a hearing date. At the hearing, the Court may take evidence from all interested parties and may examine, upon oath, the Petitioner or any other persons concerning the Petition. In the event that anyone files an objection to your request, your case will become contested and you are strongly urged to hire an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing.

The Court may grant or refuse the requested change of name. If the Judge is satisfied that the Petitioner has met the statutory requirements, and that the requested name change would be proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, the Judge will sign a Decree allowing the Petitioner to take the new name.

Typically, the Petitioner only has to appear in court twice, once to file the case, and once to go before the judge and request the name change. Sometimes, however, the court will hear the request for change of name right after the Petitioner turns their paperwork in (that same day).

Alabama Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95

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