Among the various legal documents that will ensure that you and your gay or lesbian Florida partner are protected, a change of name through a legal proceeding is also an available option. The change of name statute is found at Florida Statutes, Section 68.07.
The Petition must be verified (sworn under penalty of perjury) by the person requesting the name change. The petitioner must be a resident and domiciled in the county where the change of name is sought. The petitioner seeking a change of name (other than the restoration of a former name) must submit a set of fingerprints for the purpose of processing a state and national criminal records check. These results are then transmitted to the clerk of court.
A Petition for name change that is "facially sufficient", follows the requirement established by the statute and is not filed for a wrongful or illegal purpose must be granted. Although the trial court has the authority to deny the petition, denial will not be upheld without evidence that the petition is being filed for an illegal or wrongful purpose or that granting it would result in harm to others.
A hearing on a petition for restoration of a former name may be held immediately after the filing of the petition. The hearing on any other petition for a name change may be held after the clerk receives the results of the criminal history records check.
After the final judgment has been granted and filed, if the petitioner was born in Florida, the clerk of the court must send a completed form provided by the Department of Health to the Office of Vital Statistics. The form must contain sufficient information to identify the original birth certificate of the person, and the new name. The report is then filed by the department and becomes a part of the vital statistics records of this state.
The clerk of court must also send a report of the judgment to the Department of Law Enforcement, which must then forward a copy of the report to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you have been contemplating a change of name, contact a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Estate Planning Lawyer to learn more about the legal process and how easy it is to get started.