NJ Name Change Procedure
As New Jersey name change lawyers, we can familiarize you with the New Jersey name change procedure. A legal name change action in New Jersey is initiated by filing an action in the New Jersey Superior Court in the county in which you currently reside. The individual filing for the name change (also known as the “Petitioner”) must file a Verified Complaint for a Name Change, setting forth your date of birth and the reason for the name change. In addition, you must attach an Affidavit to the Verified Complaint, certifying:
1. That the request is not being made to avoid creditors, to avoid criminal charges, or for any other fraudulent reason;
2. Whether you have ever been convicted of a felony and, if so, setting forth the nature of the offense and the sentence that was imposed; and
3. Whether there are currently any criminal charges are pending against you and, if so, setting forth details surrounding the pending prosecution.
After the Verified Complaint is filed, the court will then enter an order fixing a date for a hearing. Notice of your name change application must then be published in a newspaper in the county where you reside at least two weeks prior to the scheduled hearing date. The Order and Petition will then need to be served on various governmental agencies, each of which are given the opportunity to file an objection to your name change, if they wish. Proof of this service must then be filed with the court.
If a court appearance is required, at the hearing the court will look at several factors and may take testimony relating to:
1. Your occupation;
2. Whether there are any judgments or bankruptcy proceedings in your name;
3. Whether there are any lawsuits pending in either your present or desired name;
4. Whether you have any criminal convictions or any pending criminal actions;
5. Whether you have had any prior name change applications and the results of same;
6. Your reasons for the name change; and
7. Whether there is any intent to avoid creditors, criminal prosecution, or other fraudulent purposes.
After the hearing, the court will grant your name change application, so long as all other statutory requirements have been satisfied and no objection has been made to your name change.
The judgment authorizing the name change must then be published in the newspaper where you live no later than 20 days after the hearing date. The judgment granting your name change must also be filed with the New Jersey Department of Treasury. Moreover, if you have been convicted of a crime, or if any criminal charges are pending or unresolved, a copy of the judgment authorizing name change must also be mailed to the correct law enforcement agency. The judge might also require that you inform all creditors and credit card issuers of the name change.
If you have questions regarding the New Jersey name change procedure, contact an experienced New Jersey name change lawyer today. The Law Office of Katherine North O’Brien handles name changes throughout the State of New Jersey. Schedule a free consult now.