Name Change Lawyers in Toronto Helping You Navigate the Court System
Maybe you’ve always hated your middle name, or perhaps, you don’t want to carry your ex’s name after a divorce. Your name is an important part of who you are, and a name change can make a big difference in your sense of self. However, it is a formal legal process, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re interested in changing your name, you can find more information and frequently asked questions below.
If a marriage, divorce, or other circumstance has made you want to change your name, you’re not alone. But it’s important to follow the proper procedures for the name change to be valid. Contact our lawyers to find out everything you need to know about changing your name.
Do I Have to Go Through the Courts to Change My Name?
While you can opt to have people call you by a different name at any time, this isn’t a legal name change. In order to be able to go by a different name on government documents, forms, and other official avenues, you will need to change your name legally by going through the Ontario courts. If you are over the age of 16 and have lived in Ontario for at least one year, you can file to change your name. Those under 18 need permission from their legal guardians, and those who are married must complete some extra paperwork and formally notify their spouses that they are changing their names.
Can I Change My Child’s Name?
It is possible to change your child’s name legally, but it is a fairly involved process and is not as simple as many people anticipate. For example, if the child is over the age of 12, they must consent to the name change. A child must also have lived in Ontario for at least one year. All legal guardians of the child must agree to the name change. This means that if you are planning on changing your child’s name after a divorce, but the other parent doesn’t agree, you cannot legally proceed with the name change.
You may be able to petition the courts to allow you to change the child’s name even without the other parent’s consent, but this can be a difficult process. You will have to show that you have compelling reasons that are in the child’s best interests.
How Long Does It Take for a Legal Name Change?
If you meet all of the requirements to be able to request a legal name change, it generally takes about 6 to 8 weeks to receive the official certificate of the name change. However, this timeline can vary depending on your circumstances and what kind of name change you are filing for. If there is a disagreement over a name change for a child, for example, this process can take quite a bit longer. If you’re not sure how long a name change will take or need to have it done for a time-sensitive issue, it’s important to talk with an lawyer about your situation as early as possible. Once you receive your certification of the name change, you can start the process of legally changing your name with other bureaus and departments.
Do I Have to Have a Lawyer to Change My Name?
It’s not required to have an lawyer change your name, and if you are an adult filing for a simple name change with all of the required paperwork, it can be a simple process. But if you are trying to change a child’s name or there is an issue with any part of the process, from completing the application to notifying the relevant parties, an lawyer can be a big help. A lawyer can take care of all of the paperwork and notifications for you and address any issues that come up. An experienced name change lawyer can also let you know what steps you need to take after changing your name, such as updating your driver’s license.
If you are considering a name change, it’s important to know what legal implications it could have for you and what to expect from the process. Call the Toronto office of Anthony Family Law at 647-933-2397 to schedule a consultation to learn more.