You may have thought about changing your child's name and just don't know how to go about it. There are situations when it would be appropriate to change a child's name. If it is cut and dry, and you've got good reasons, you can do the process yourself. If you think there may be a question by the court or anyone else involved, you should get a lawyer.
You will need to complete form A of the New Jersey Name change form to change a child's name. You will have to explain why you want to change your child's name. The form A will ask specific questions about your child and even ask if your child has a criminal record.
You'll have to complete the form B & C and be sure to write in all required information. Make sure you double check that you haven't skipped anything on all forms or it will be returned to you. Make sure that you sign the forms at the appropriate places. You will need to complete the Civil Case information statement. When all the forms are completed, make a check or money order for $200.00. This should be payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey.
It is required to have two copies of the original paperwork. One is for you and one is for the court. Include a self addressed stamped envelope for the court to mail papers back to you. Mail one original and one copy to the court. It's highly recommended that you mail it certified to insure that it gets to the court.
When you receive your papers back from the court, you will see your Docket number and your Court date on the paperwork. Make sure you show up on the date as well as keep these papers to take with you. The Docket number is the number that will identify your case to the court. There will also be a name of a newspaper in the paperwork. This is the newspaper the court has chosen for you to publish your date to change your child's name. This is required and must be published two weeks or more before date. In turn, the newspaper will send you an affidavit of publication. Make a copy of this for yourself and mail the original immediately to the court by certified mail.
If your child is a minor, and their other parent does not reside with you, you must send a copy of the affidavit of publication to them by certified mail. If you do not know their address, send it to the last known address.
You will have to complete form D next. This is a proof of mailing form in which you will sign and state that you did mail this to the minors other parent. Attach the green certified card with form D and mail to the court.
Finally, your court date has arrived. Once you have the final judgment, you will be given the name of a newspaper to publish the final judgment in. You'll have 20 days to publish the final judgment and send the proof from the newspaper to the courthouse. You'll need a certified copy of the final judgment. You will to mail it to:
Dept of Treasury (within 45 days). There is a fee of $50.00 currently.
The bureau of Vital Statistics (where your child was born) – So you can get a new birth certificate. The fee for this is currently $27.00.
To change a child's name in New Jersey, you have to follow these specific guidelines without fail.
You can find the correct forms to process your court papers at the following link:
Go http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/. Go down the page until you see the list of counties and click on your county. Click on "Representing yourself in Court – forms & instructions". Go to the forms under "Name Change".