Attorneys & Staff Members Who Support this Practice Area
Clients come to Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC seeking to change their own name or that of their child for various reasons, including, but not limited to, protection in domestic violence situations, allowing the entire family to share the same last name after a parent remarries, transitioning from one gender to another, and making the name they have been using informally their legal name.
Our firm has extensive experience handling adult name changes. These involve filing a petition with the Supreme Court requesting the name change, providing the reason for the name change, and giving the court certain assurances that there is no improper motive involved, such as eluding creditors. The order is generally issued without a court appearance and the final requirement is to publish a notice of the name change in a local newspaper.
A name change for a child is similarly simple as long as both parents are in agreement. However, if one parent opposes the name change, a hearing is held on whether it is in the best interest of the child to approve the name change.
Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC also has extensive experience assisting transgender individuals with name changes and with gender designation changes with various state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (license), the Department of Health (birth certificate), Department of State (passport), and Social Security Administration. Proof of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) is no longer required for any of these changes. We have also had success in having the court seal the name change file and waive publication for our transgender clients.
For more detailed information on name changes, please see Casey Copps DiPaola’s article on the topic, Basics of Name Changes and Recent Developments for Transgender Individuals, and Joseph Williams’ articles, New York State Changes Policy on Birth Certificate Gender Marker Changes for Transgender Minors and The Gender Recognition Act: Progress for Transgender and Nonbinary New Yorkers.