How do I legally change the name of my minor child?
One or both parents of a minor child may petition the Circuit Court in the city where the child lives. The court will determine whether good cause exists under the circumstances alleged in the petition and whether the change is in the best interest of the child. Pursuant to §8.01-217, Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the following are required in the petition:
  • The petition must be made under oath by parent or parents (you must swear to the truth of the allegations in the petition after having been placed under oath by a Notary, and that Notary must acknowledge on the petition that you were placed under oath and swore to the truth of the allegations in the petition and that you did sign the petition);
  • The place of residence of the minor child
  • The names of both parents of the minor child, including the maiden name of the mother
  • The birth date and birth place of the minor child
  • The felony conviction record of the minor child. If none, that must be stated
  • Whether the minor child is presently incarcerated or a probationer with any court (if not, that must be stated)
  • Whether the name of the minor child has been previously changed [if so, list the former name(s)]
  • The parent or parents petitioning must affirm that the name change is not sought for any fraudulent purpose, does not infringe upon any rights of others and is in the best interest of the child

In the case of a minor with both parents living, if only one parent files the petition, the parent who does not join in the petition shall be served with reasonable notice of the petition, and, if he or she objects, a hearing before the judge must be scheduled. It is the responsibility of the petitioner to see that reasonable notice of the petition is served on the other parent. If a name change for a minor is allowed, it does not terminate any of the legal parental rights of a parent.

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1. How do I obtain a Marriage License?
2. What do I need to do to perform a marriage in Virginia?
3. If I file my own divorce, is there a package or a model I can get from the Clerk's Office to help me?
4. If I file my own divorce, can I just give copies of the papers to my spouse?
5. After I file my divorce does the court let me know what to do next?
6. Do I file my divorce in Newport News?
7. If I need advice on substantive legal matters concerning my divorce or a change of name petition, may I get that from the Clerk's Office or the judges' administrative assistants?
8. Where can I find the Code of Virginia, the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court, local rules of the 7th Judicial Circuit, form books and other aids?
9. How do I legally change my name?
10. How do I legally change the name of my minor child?
11. What should I do after I get my name changed?