Occasionally, one or both parents wish to change the name of their minor child. To do so, there are numerous requirements that must be met:
1. The “applicant” (the person requesting the name change on the child’s behalf) must file in the county where the child lives;
2. The child must have lived in the State of Minnesota for at least six months and the applicant must:
a. Be at least 18 years of age to proceed on behalf of the child; AND
b. Be the minor's parent, guardian, or next of kin;
3. The child must be present at the hearing
4. The applicant must pay the civil filing fee (currently $297 in Hennepin County).
5. At the hearing the applicant must bring two adult witnesses who have known the child for one year or longer. If both parents come to the hearing (AND BOTH SUPPORT THE NAME CHANGE), you only need to bring one other witness. Your witnesses may be relatives.
6. If the child owns a home or other real estate, you need to have the legal description when you file your documents.
Minnesota law provides that no minor child's name may be changed without both parents having notice of the pending application of change of name.
In addition, Minnesota law requires that any name change for child be in his or her best interests. The factors that the Court will consider include:
1. The child’s preference;
2. The effect of the change of the child’s surname on the preservation and development of the child’s relationship with each parent;
3. The length of time the child has had the current name;
4. The degree of community respect associated with the present and the proposed surname;
5. The difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment that the child may experience from bearing the present or the proposed surname.
To discuss a name change, or any family law matter, contact Kruse Family Law PLLC at 612.231.9865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.