Name Change

New Orleans Adult Name Changes Lawyers

Helping people and companies get fresh starts in New Orleans

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

It’s common for a woman who divorces to think through whether she wants to keep her married name or switch back to her maiden name. A spouse may want to keep her married name if it is recognized professionally. Many spouses want to revert to their maiden name so they’re not connected to a failed marriage. Adult adoptees may want to adopt the surname of their stepparent. Many people seek name changes for personal reasons.

The Law Office of James A. Graham has helped many people achieve a fresh start by going through the process of changing their names. We understand when you can request a name change, the pros and cons, and why there may be objections to the request. Our family lawyers are skilled at obtaining names changes after a  divorce, an adoption, or for changing a business or personal image.

Why might adults in New Orleans want to change their names?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

There are valid and invalid reasons why an adult may desire a name change. Generally, you can’t change your name to avoid creditors or to avoid criminal prosecution.

A few reasons that are generally valid include religious name changes, putting bad memories behind you, and simplifying a name. Many entertainers have changed their names for professional reasons. Spouses generally have the option of keeping their maiden name or changing their name to their spouse’s name if the decision is made before the marriage occurs. Some couples want to join their names by using a hyphen.

We also understand that for some individuals, changing one’s legal name may be a matter of safety. If you are a victim of domestic violence, for example, then seeking a legal name change may help you and your children.

What is the process for requesting a name change after a divorce in Louisiana?

Many spouses want to change their name after a divorce becomes final. For some, the name reversal is restoring their identity. As a practical matter, the wife is often the person who may desire a name change.

Louisiana provides that the name change is limited to:

  • The name being used at the time of the marriage
  • The name of her minor children to reflect the new, married name
  • Her maiden name

Our New Orleans adult name change lawyers advise spouses that the divorce decree should also provide for the right to change the name. The main benefit of requesting the name change in the divorce decree is that it saves time and money. Without the provision, the wife may need to file a motion with the court to approve the name change when the wife is ready to change her name.

Once the name change is approved by the court, we request certified copies of the divorce decree or name change order. These copies are then sent to the various agencies that have your married name on file.

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How does an adult who was adopted request a name change in New Orleans?

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In Louisiana, adults can be adopted. Both the adopting parent and the adoptee must consent: “A person who has attained the age of majority may be adopted without judicial authorization only when the adoptive parent is the spouse or the surviving spouse of a parent of the person to be adopted.”

Per the Louisiana State Registrar:

Louisiana law requires the District Attorney's involvement for any adult (age 18 and older) name change. The adopted adult must obtain an affidavit from their local District Attorney stating there is no objection to the name change. The notarized affidavit must be submitted with all requests for a new birth certificate after an adult adoption.

In other proposed adult adoptions that do require judicial authorization, the court, upon the joint petition of the adoptive parent and the person to be adopted, may authorize the adoption of a person who has attained the age of majority if the court finds after a hearing that the adoption is in the best interest of both parties.

How do I request a name change for personal reasons?

Louisiana adult residents can change their name by petitioning the court and asking for a name change. The request can be filed in the parish of your residence, the parish of your birth (if born in Louisiana), or the parish of venue for vital records.

Normally, you will have to give notice to the District Attorney in the appropriate parish. The Judge assigned to your petition must sign the order for the name change. If the District Attorney raises an objection, our New Orleans adult name change lawyers will review the objection. We’ll explain whether we think the objection is valid, or whether you should request a court hearing to contest the objection before the Judge assigned to your case.

The District Attorney may object for reasons that usually depend on the new name you want to use. For example, they will probably object if you want to change your name to a number.

Can I change my name after a Louisiana criminal conviction?

If you are currently in jail, you will need to petition the district court of the parish in which you were sentenced. However, if you were convicted of a felony, you cannot petition for a name change.  Only after you have completed your sentence for your felony conviction, including imprisonment and/or probation or parole, may you petition the district court for a name change. However, the district court reserves the right to deny your petition.

Who should be notified when an adult changes his/her name in New Orleans?

Our lawyers will review with you all the agencies, organizations, and businesses that should be notified of your name change – at the federal, state, and local levels.

Some of the entities that require a formal certified copy of the court order include:

  • The Social Security Administration
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles
  • The local voter registration office
  • The US Department of State, to change your name on your passport
  • Credit card companies
  • Utilities
  • Financial institutions, including your banks
  • Any retirement plans
  • Insurance providers
  • Various organizations
  • Your employer

If you want to change your name on your original birth certificate from the state of Louisiana, you must send a certified copy of your final judgment to the Louisiana Vital Records Registry along with an Application to Amend a Certificate of Birth and the appropriate fee.

Do you have an adult name change lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham is located in New Orleans and serves all of South Louisiana.

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Contact our experienced New Orleans adult name change lawyers today

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our family lawyers help adults who wish to change their names. We’ll discuss with you the pros and cons of an adult name change – and whether the name change you seek is legal. If you want to proceed, we’ll prepare the correct documents and seek the appropriate court orders. We’ll inform you when the name change is official so you can begin notifying everyone who needs to know about your new name. Please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with an experienced adult name change lawyer in New Orleans.