Ohio Name Change Law


Name Change – General – Ohio

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in the State of Ohio, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In the State of Ohio, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Probate Court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.

Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered a minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes.  The court must find that (1) there is reasonable and proper cause established for the change of name; and, (2) that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations.  A person can not change their name to defraud any person.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an application for change of name to be granted, the court must find reasonable and proper cause for the change of name, that the required notice has been given, and, that the change of name is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.  Notice of the filing of the application with a statement of the relief requested and the date and place of hearing must be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing on the application.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The general public by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. In addition to notice to the General Public, the consent of both living, legal parents of the minor shall be filed, or notice of the hearing shall be given to the parent or parents not consenting by certified mail, return receipt requested. If there is no known father of the minor, the notice shall be given to the person who the mother of the minor alleges to be the father. If no father is so alleged, or if either parent or the address of either parent is unknown, notice pursuant to division (A) of this section shall be sufficient as to the father or parent.

Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

Procedures:

The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Ohio begins with the filing of an application with the Probate Court in the jurisdiction in which Petitioner resides.  The Application informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, and the reasons for the requested change of name.

The process for obtaining a name change for a minor in the State of Ohio begins with the filing of an application with the Probate Court in the jurisdiction in which the minor resides. The Application is filed by a parent, legal guardian or guardian ad litem on behalf of the minor. The Application informs the Court of the minor’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes the minor to adopt, and the reasons for the requested change of name.

After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Court will set the Petition for a hearing.  The Petitioner is required to give public notice of the relief requested and the date of the hearing in a local newspaper of general circulation.  The notice must be published once at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing on the application.

Upon proof that proper notice was given and that the facts set forth in the application show reasonable and proper cause for changing the name of the applicant, the court may order the change of name.

Additional Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

Proceedings to change name of person:

(A) A person desiring a change of name may file an application in the probate court of the county in which the person resides. The application shall set forth that the applicant has been a bona fide resident of that county for at least one year prior to the filing of the application, the cause for which the change of name is sought, and the requested new name.

Notice of the application shall be given once by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least thirty days before the hearing on the application. The notice shall set forth the court in which the application was filed, the case number, and the date and time of the hearing.

Upon proof that proper notice was given and that the facts set forth in the application show reasonable and proper cause for changing the name of the applicant, the court may order the change of name.

(B) An application for change of name may be made on behalf of a minor by either of the minor’s parents, a legal guardian, or a guardian ad litem. When application is made on behalf of a minor, in addition to the notice and proof required pursuant to division (A) of this section, the consent of both living, legal parents of the minor shall be filed, or notice of the hearing shall be given to the parent or parents not consenting by certified mail, return receipt requested. If there is no known father of the minor, the notice shall be given to the person who the mother of the minor alleges to be the father. If no father is so alleged, or if either parent or the address of either parent is unknown, notice pursuant to division (A) of this section shall be sufficient as to the father or parent.

Any additional notice required by this division may be waived in writing by any person entitled to the notice. [Title XXVII Courts - General Provisions - Special Remedies, Chapter 2717 Change of Name, § 2717.01.]

Other Name Change References:

Age of majority:
All persons of the age of eighteen years or more, who are under no legal disability, are capable of contracting and are of full age for all purposes. [Title XXXI Domestic Relations - Children, Chapter 3109 Children, § 3109.01.]