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The Most Common Reasons Why a Petition for a Name Change Might Not Be Granted

The Most Common Reasons Why a Petition for a Name Change Might Not Be Granted

In this Country, every person has the freedom to be called whatever name he or she chooses. While this is true, this does not apply to every person applying to do so through the court. Not everyone has the privilege to change his or her name legally. In order for a name change to be legally acknowledged, a state court has to approve it. There are many reasons that can disqualify a person’s petition for a name change. Reasons behind the rejection can vary between simple procedural errors to something more serious such as fraud. It is important to be aware, however, that besides a person’s background, a judge has an extensive discretion in approving or denying the request. The following are some of the most common causes behind a name change petition being denied. 

Application and Other Procedural Errors

Every application will have different requirements and procedures, depending on where the petitioner resides. Certain requirements must be met such as that of residing in a particular region for a number of months and/or years. Other requirements can include publishing the intent to petition in local newspapers. Also, when attempting to file for a name change, many petitioners will need to appear before a judge. The court hearing is often required in order to determine the validity behind the reasons of the name change. Failing to meet the requirements or failing to follow through with the process appropriately can result in a denial. In the event that a procedural error has been committed, consulting with a professional attorney can help to mend the error and move the case forward. 

Denials Based on Criminal Histories

Having a criminal record can be one, if not the most common reason to a name change petition rejection. Depending on the region in which the petitioner resides in, a criminal record could be an automatic reason for a denial. Other regions could have different rules and regulations when it comes to having a criminal background. Many regions will require that certain time has passed before an individual with a criminal history can petition for a name change. It is also important to note that not all criminal records will constitute in an automatic denial. Contrastingly, however, being a registered sex offender is one of the top reasons as to why a name change petitioner will have his or her application denied. 

Petition Rejections Based on Fraud

If a judge has reason to believe that there is intent to commit fraud with the use of the name change, he or she can automatically deny the application. During the application process or court hearing procedure, petitioners will be asked for the reason behind his or her request for a name change. With a background check, the court can come to discover if the petitioner is seeking the name change in an attempt to hide from criminal prosecutions, bankruptcies, or other legal matters. Similarly, a court can deny the application if it is discovered that the petitioner is seeking the name change in order to impersonate someone else. 

Seeking Professional Support

When petitioning for a name change in New Jersey, speak to an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can help you determine if you are qualified to proceed for a name change. The process of filing for a name change can be a very complex and prolonged process. Having an application denied can not only have emotional implications, it can also prove to be financially burdensome.


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