When you need a Greenville name change lawyer, J. Michael Turner, Jr. of Turner Family Law can assist you. As a Greenville family law attorney, Michael Turner assists individuals and families with the name change process. To see how he can help you, contact us today for a consultation.
Lawyer for Name Changes in Greenville, SC
Name change petitions are brought before the family court. Turner Family Law handles a variety of family law cases in Greenville, SC, and the surrounding areas. He can assist you through the steps required to complete your name change.
How a lawyer can help you
Michael Turner can assist you with:
- Determining whether you qualify to have your name changed
- Preparing and filing your petition
- Requesting your criminal background check and DSS records check
- Completion of supporting paperwork including your affidavit
- Appearing with you in court
- Addressing reasons that the court may deny your request
- Guiding you through the entire process and answering your questions
There are several paperwork requirements to initiate a name change. You must submit a petition to the family court supported by multiple background and records checks, a filing fee, and an affidavit. Working with a lawyer ensures you have these documents prepared completely and accurately. It can help the legal process go smoothly and efficiently.
Why Change Your Name?
There are many reasons that a person may want to change their name.
- Marriage or divorce
- Couples combining names to make their own last name
- A child’s last name change to reflect their current family relationships
- A certain name becoming famous or infamous
- Wanting to change the spelling of a name that is hard to spell
- Reflecting family history and heritage
- Religious preferences and identity
- Political or social statement
- Transgender transition
When changing your name because of marriage or divorce, the change can be handled through those proceedings. However, if you do not change your name when you get married or divorced, you can complete the legal name change proceeding.
Legal Name Changes in South Carolina
Legally changing your name in South Carolina requires filing a petition with the family court. It is a formal court proceeding, but it is not adversarial. You must submit several supporting documents reviewing your personal history. The court has the discretion to approve or deny the name change.
Steps to change your name in South Carolina
To change your name in South Carolina, you must submit the following to the family court:
- Petition for a name change. The petition must include your place of residence and birth, the reason for the change, your age, and the name you are seeking
- Fingerprint and background check conducted by SLED (State Law Enforcement Division)
- DSS screening showing whether you are on the central registry of abuse and neglect (Form 3072)
- Affidavit of whether you pay court-ordered alimony or child support
- Sex offender registry screening
- Affidavit of residency, proof of residency
- Request for hearing
- Filing fee
If you have a criminal history or you appear on the child abuse or sex offender registries, it is still possible to have your name changed. You must convince the court that you are not requesting the change to avoid being found on these lists or to avoid the discovery of your criminal history. The court will send notifications so that state record-keeping systems are updated with the new name.
Do You Need Proof of Residency to Change Your Name?
The proof of residency requirement may be waived if the petitioner is a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking, or another offense and they fear for their safety. The petitioner may ask the court to seal the file in the interest of safety.
How Much Does It Cost to Legally Change Your Name in South Carolina?
Costs to legally change your name in South Carolina:
- $150 – court filing fee
- $25 – criminal background check
- $8 – DSS Form 3072 processing fee
- Cost for fingerprinting at local law enforcement agency
These fees may be subject to change. There may be additional fees to update various records once the name change is complete.
What is the standard for the court issuing a name change?
The court may allow a name change “as the judge considers proper.” If the name change isn’t for an improper purpose, like avoiding the discovery of a criminal record, the court will likely approve the change. The petitioner’s request must contain all the necessary information and paperwork.
Who can petition to have their name changed in South Carolina?
Anyone over 18 can petition to have their name changed in South Carolina. They must meet the residency requirement or qualify for an exception. A legal parent or guardian may petition on behalf of a child.
Name change as part of a divorce
If you want to change your name because you are getting divorced, the order for name change can be stated in the divorce decree. A separate petition is not necessary.
After your name change
Once your name change is complete, you can use the court order to update your social security information, birth certificate, bank records, driver’s license, voter registration, and other records.
What is the South Carolina law for name changes?
S.C. Code Title 15, Chapter 49 – Change of Name, § 15-49-10 et seq is the South Carolina law for name changes.
Changing a Child’s Name in South Carolina
A minor child may have their name changed by the court. The petitioner must name the other parent as a party. The standard to grant the request is a showing that the name change is in the best interest of the child.
Legal Help for Name Change in Greenville, SC
There are many steps to getting your name changed. Having Michael Turner as your lawyer can ensure that you avoid mistakes that can create stumbling blocks in the process. If there are any unique circumstances that may be an issue, he can create a plan for your case.
Contact us at Turner Family Law today for an initial consultation to begin discussing your case.