I don’t like what I named my son anymore. What should I do? He’s about to be 2 years old.
Eric Johnson, Attorney at Utah Family Law, LC
In Utah, where I practice, the parents can petition the court to change the child’s name. It’s rather easy, as far as court proceedings go. You can hire an attorney to ensure you get through the process correctly, or try to take care of the process on your own pro se (meaning without an attorney).
Here are the applicable code sections (bear in mind that, if you are divorced or unmarried without a court order determining custody of the child, you likely cannot unilaterally seek a name change without giving notice to the other parent of your intentions to seek a name change):
Utah Code Section 42-1-1. By petition to district court — Contents.
Any natural person, desiring to change his name, may file a petition therefor in the district court of the county where he resides, setting forth:
(1) The cause for which the change of name is sought.
(2) The name proposed.
(3) That he has been a bona fide resident of the county for the year immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
Utah Code Section 42-1-2. Notice of hearing — Order of change.
The court shall order what, if any, notice shall be given of the hearing, and after the giving of such notice, if any, may order the change of name as requested, upon proof in open court of the allegations of the petition and that there exists proper cause for granting the same.
Utah Code Section 42-1-3. Effect of proceedings.
Such proceedings shall in no manner affect any legal action or proceeding then pending, or any right, title or interest whatsoever.
Even though this is all that the Utah Code provides, the Utah Courts website contains some other “requirements” that, although they are not required by the Utah Code, a court may ask about or require as a condition of obtaining the name change. Here is that website link:
Forms for a child name change through the Utah courts can also be found on the website.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277