Name Changes

Name change refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a name that is different from their current name. The process for legally changing one’s name falls under the Texas Family Code. Specifically:  

  • Chapter 45, Subchapter A, governs name changes for children. 
  • Chapter 45, Subchapter B, governs name changes for adults. 


How do I legally change my child’s name?

You must get a court order to legally change your child’s name by filing a child name change case. To make minor corrections to a child’s first or middle name, a court order may not be needed.

Who can file for a child’s name to be changed?

The child’s parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian may file a petition requesting a change of name of the child in the county in which the child resides.

Does the child have a say in their name being legally changed?

If the child is ten years of age or older, they must provide written consent to their name being changed. If younger than ten years of age, then the child’s consent is not needed. 

Do both parents have to agree to the name change?

The other parent must be told that you want to change your child’s name. If the other parent’s parental rights have been terminated, then this would not be required. If the other parent agrees to the name change, you can file the request together.

If the other parent does not agree to the name change, you must have the other parent served with legal notice of the case by a constable, sheriff, or private process server. The other parent, even if not on the birth certificate, must get legal notice of your child’s name change. 

When would a court agree to my child’s name to be changed?

If the change is in the best interest of the child as well as the change is in the interest of the public. The person petitioning on behalf of the child provides the court with proof that he/she consented to the name change.


There may be many reasons why one may want to legally change their name. The law applies the same to all cases. Whether it be for honor of heritage, marriage, ethnicity, religious reasons, or familial reasons the steps to do so are provided by your attorney.  

How do I legally change my name? 

Any adult may file for a change of name in the county of their residence. A petition must be filed with the courts as well as verified with the courts. The petitioner, the adult requesting their name to be changed, must not have been convicted of a felony. If they have been convicted of a felony, they must have received a certificate of discharge by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or have completed a period of community supervision or probation ordered by a court. This must not be less than two years from the receipt date of discharge or completion of community supervision or probation. If the person has been pardoned then they may be able to have a legal name change. 

Changes of name due to divorce are handled differently in court. The law provides that a name can be changed to a prior name before the dissolution of the marriage. 

How long does it take to legally change my name? 

The length of time differs from county to county, as well as from courthouse to courthouse. It can take from 1 day to 6 months for an adult to legally change their name. 

For more information on legally changing your child’s name or your name, call The Barrera Law Firm, PC at (956) 428-2822 and ask for a free consultation with an attorney or contact us online.


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