Adult Name Changes
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is concerned that an adult may wish to change his/her name to avoid credit problems, a history of criminal acts, or use a new name to commit fraudulent acts. However, a name change is not so simple when an adult wishes to have his/her given name or surname changed for a reason other than divorce. An adult must file a petition in the court in the county of their residence to obtain a name change. In addition, an adult is required to publicize the fact that his/her name is about to be changed, obtain fingerprint clearances, list his/her addresses for the past five years and provide information regarding any outstanding judgments.
For an adult who is newly divorced, the procedure is very simple. Forms are available in the Prothonotary’s office of each county to change a married surname to a prior surname.
Minor Name Changes
If the other parent does not consent to the name change of your minor child, then you must file petition the court in the county of your child’s residence. The judicial standard for changing the name of a minor is “the best interest of the child.” Therefore, you, as the parent or guardian who is seeking to change the name of the child, must prove that the change is in the best interest of your child.