Changing Your Name in Oklahoma

The procedure for a legal change of name is provided in 12 O.S., Sec. 1631, et seq., and the procedure is the exclusive remedy for a change of name, except for marriage, divorce or adoption. 12 O.S., Sec. 1637

“Any natural person, who has been domiciled in this state or who has been residing upon any military reservation located in said state, for more than thirty (30) days, and has been an actual resident of the county or such military reservation situated in said county, or county in which the military reservation is situated, for more than thirty (30) days, next preceding the filing of the action, may petition for a change of name in a civil action in the district court. If the person be a minor, the action may be brought by guardian or next friend as in other actions.” 12 O.S., Sec. 1631

12 O.S., Sec. 1632 provides the requirements of the Petition for name change.  12 O.S., Sec. 1634 provides that the change of name shall be granted unless the court or judge finds that the change is sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose, or that a material allegation is false.  Though notice of the hearing of the Petition for name change is required to be given by publication, 12 O.S., Sec. 1633 the request for change of name is seldom contested and this is a proceeding in which most people may appear in court without an attorney.  However, the procedure must be followed exactly and the pleadings should be proper form.

The person requesting the change of name will need to appear in Court one time, not less than ten days after the publication notice of the date of the hearing.

Changing The Name of A Minor

If the Person whose name is to be changed is a minor, then both the minor and the guardian or next friend will need to appear to give testimony at the hearing.  If the person whose name is to be changed is a minor then Notice of the Hearing on the petition to change the name of the minor must be given to the non-custodial parent.  A parent having custody of a child in a divorce action may not have the child’s name changed over the objection of the non custodial parent.  This appears to mean that actual consent of the non custodial parent may not be required – but – Notice of the hearing must be given and if he objects then the name may not be changed.

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