As of December 21, 2021, the process of having your name changed in New York State has been significantly simplified. Previously, all name changes required publication in a legal notice. This was a cumbersome step because it delayed the process, added expense, and also, in some cases, left victims of domestic abuse open to the threat that their abuser will have an easy path to locate them. Additionally the Court will no longer seek or require consent from any party other than the petitioner, except with cases involving infants, inmates or parolees.
It is important to note that the intent of the law is to protect the rights of individuals. The law is not intended to support individuals seeking a name change for purposes such as defrauding creditors in bankruptcy filings or to avoid child support obligations. The provisions of the new law enable judges to use their discretion to seal the record of the name change, based on the totality of the circumstances.
The Family Law attorneys at Lacy Katzen have helped many people through the process of changing their name and we may be able to help you. Please contact us for more information.
By Lawrence Schwind