Name Change – General – Kentucky
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in Kentucky, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In Kentucky, the name of a minor may be changed by filing an action in the District 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 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 order of name change to be granted, the court must finds sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice Required? No.
Who must be provided notice of the Petition? A parent who has not joined in the Petition must be given notice of the Petition by service of the Petition and Summons.
Can individuals “object” to the Petition for Name Change of a minor? 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 parents, or a parent if one is deceased, or the guardian of the minor if both parents are deceased, files the Petition in the District Court in which the minor resides.
If a parent does not join in the Petition for Change of Name, they must be served with a summons and a copy of the Petition. The court may or may not set the Petition for a hearing. If there is a hearing, the court may inquire as to the basis for the name change request and question any objectors as to the basis for their objection. When the court is satisfied that the requirements have been met, the curt may issue its order.
Additonal Information and Instructions
Who may have name changed:
Any person at least eighteen (18) years of age may have his or her name changed by the District Court of the county in which he or she resides. If he or she resides on a United States Army post, military reservation, or fort, his or her name may be changed by the District Court of any county adjacent thereto. Title XXXV – Domestic Relations, Chapter 401 Change of Name, Sec.401.010.
Child, who may have name changed:
Both parents, provided both are living, or one parent if one is deceased, or if no parent is living, the guardian, may have the name of a child under the age of eighteen changed by the District Court, or if the Family Court or Circuit Court has a case before it involving the family, the Family Court of a county with a Family Court, or the Circuit Court of a county without a Family Court of the county in which the child resides. However, if one parent refuses or is unavailable to execute the petition, proper notice of filing the petition shall be served in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. If the child resides on a United States Army post, military reservation, or fort, his or her name may be changed by the District Court, or the Family Court of a county with a Family Court, or the Circuit Court of a county without a Family Court of any county adjacent thereto. Title XXXV – Domestic Relations, Chapter 401 Change of Name, Sec.401.020
Facts shown on order book of court:
The original name, age, and place of birth, the name to which the change is made, and the names of the infant’s father and mother, if known, and of the person on whose motion the change is made shall be entered on the order book of the District Court. Title XXXV – Domestic Relations, Chapter 401 Change of Name, Sec.401.030.
Certification of order for name change — Index kept by county clerk:
(1) If the District Court, Family Court, or Circuit Court, as authorized by KRS 401.020, orders any person’s name to be changed under this chapter, a copy of the order shall be certified by the clerk of that court to the county clerk, for record.
(2) The county clerk shall keep an alphabetical index for each book of records, referring to the page on which each person’s name change appears, and giving the name from and to which it is changed.
Title XXXV – Domestic Relations, Chapter 401 Change of Name, Sec.401.040.
Other Name Change References:
Age of majority — Exceptions:
Persons of the age of eighteen (18) years are of the age of majority for all purposes in this Commonwealth except for the purchase of alcoholic beverages and for purposes of care and treatment of children with disabilities, for which twenty-one (21) years is the age of majority, all other statutes to the contrary notwithstanding. Kentucky Revised Statutes, TITLE I Sovereignty and Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, Chapter 2 Citizenship, Emblems, Holidays, and Time,§2.015