Name Change for Grandchild

From Charleen from Middleburg, Florida, Clay County

I have permanent custody of my granddaughter. The state of Georgia gave me permanent custody in 2007. I now live in the state of Florida and my granddaughter wants me to change her last name to mine.

Answer:

I’m not sure how long you have been living in Florida, but as long as you have been here for at least six months you can file a name change petition in Florida. The process for getting a minor’s name changed is not very difficult. As long as you have sole custody, you should have no problem. You stated that you have permanent custody, but are you the sole guardian or are the parents still involved? If you are sharing custody with the parents then you will have to get them to sign a consent form allowing the name change. As the Petitioner for a minor child’s name change, you will have to have your fingerprints taken in a manner approved by the Department of Law Enforcement and submitted for a state and national criminal history records check. This is done to ensure that the name change is in no way connected to any illegal activity. A hearing on the Petition cannot be requested until the Clerk of Court receives the results of the criminal history records check. If your granddaughter is no longer a minor, she will have to petition the court for the name change herself. She will then have to go through the fingerprinting and criminal background check as stated above. Your granddaughter wanting her name changed to your name is quite the compliment and speaks very highly about how you have raised her. Congrats!

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