Change of Name

 

 

Change of Name is the legal process to formally change an individual's name, by court order, from the name on her/his birth certificate to another name of her/his choosing.  This does NOT change the name on the birth certificate, but rather it formalizes a usage of a new legal name.

Forms linked below can be filled out on-line. However, the forms still needs to be print out, signed and then submit it to Bristol County Probate and Family Court either by mail or in person.

What to file:

  • Filing fee of $180.00 (Payable to “Bristol Probate Court”);

  • Find all forms for Adult Change of Names here;

  • Find all forms for Minor Child Change of Names here.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • MARRIED ADULTS must file a certified copy of their marriage certificate;

  • DIVORCED ADULTS must file a certified copy of their marriage certificate and divorce judgment;

  • MINOR CHILDREN should have the notarized assents of both parents and all guardians. One or both parents may sign their assent on the Petition itself. You must provide the last known address of an absent parent. For children born out of wedlock, we will need a certified copy of an adjudication of paternity or a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. If you do not have the notarized assent of both parents/guardians, you will be required to provide citation notice to parents and guardians. Due to the involvement of children, you must also complete the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings.

                                               

 

Where to file:

All papers above should be filed

By mail at:

Bristol County Probate and Family Court

40 Broadway, Suite 240

Taunton, MA 02780

In person at one of our three locations:

40 Broadway, Suite 240

Taunton, MA 02780

289 Rock St

Fall River, MA

 

505 Pleasant Street

New Bedford, MA

 

What to Expect after you file:

- Following receipt of said payment, a citation for publication and/or mailing will be sent to you by the Court. You must arrange to have the citation published and/or mailed according to the instructions given in the Order of Notice on the citation. Mailing must be by postage-prepaid mail.

- After publication and/or mailing, return the original citation with your signature, certifying that you mailed and published as ordered, to the Court. ALL CITATIONS FOR CHANGE OF NAME ARE PUBLISHED. If you have a good reason why it should not be published, you must file a motion to waive publication and an affidavit (a sworn statement) stating the facts as to why you do not wish to have this information published. You may have to go before the judge personally to explain your reasons.

- The decree changing your name will not issue until sometime after the return date shown on the citation.

- In some instances, the Court may schedule a Case Management Conference, at which a Pre-Trial date or trial date may be assigned.

- A criminal record check will be done for all petitioners over the age of 10 years.

- Certified copies of birth/marriage/divorce records are usually readily obtainable. If, however, yours is from another state or country and you want it returned to you, you must file a motion requesting its return.

PLEASE NOTE THAT A CHANGE OF NAME DECREE DOES NOT RESULT IN A CHANGE ON A BIRTH CERTIFICATE