Name Change – General – Louisiana
In what court must a name change action be filed? In Louisiana, a name change action is filed in the district court in the parish where the petitioner resides, with appropriate forms.
Who must sign the petition for name change? If the person requesting the name change is under 18 years of age, the action must be filed by a parent or guardian. If the person requesting a name change is an adult, then they sign their petition requesting the name change.
Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change their name? Yes. 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. In the case of a minor, the court must find (1) that the name change is for the benefit of or in the interest of the minor; and (2) that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.
When will the court likely grant a name change? A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce normally meets the court's requirements, provided no alterior motive is present. For a minor, the court must find the name change in the interest or to the benefit of the minor and in the interest of the public.
Is publication of a notice required? Any non-consenting parent must normally be given notice of the application for a minor's name change. If a parent is not meeting their legal obligations regarding the child, for example failing to pay child support for an extended period, then no notice need be given. See our law summary for details.
Can individuals object to my 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.
13:4751. Petition for name change; adults; minors
A. The name of a person may be changed as provided in this Section.
B. Whenever any person who has attained the age of majority desires to change his name, he shall present a petition to the district court of the parish of his residence, the parish of his birth, or the parish of venue for the Vital Records Registry, or, in the case of a person incarcerated in a penal institution, to the district court of the parish in which he was sentenced, setting forth the reasons for the desired change.
C. If the person desiring such change is a minor or if the parents or parent or the tutor of the minor desire to change the name of the minor:
(1) The petition shall be signed by the father and mother of the minor or by the survivor in case one of them be dead. (2) If one parent has been granted custody of the minor by a court of competent jurisdiction, the consent of the other parent is not necessary if the other parent has been served with a copy of the petition and any of the following exists: (a) The other parent has refused or failed to comply with a court order of support for a period of one year. (b) The other parent has failed to support the child for a period of three years after judgment awarding custody to the parent signing the petition. (c) The other parent is not paying support and has refused or failed to visit, communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child without just cause for a period of two years. (d) Repealed by Acts 2001, No. 555, § 1. (3) In case the minor has no father or mother living, the petition shall be signed by the tutor or tutrix of the minor and in default of any tutor or tutrix, shall be signed by a special tutor appointed by the judge for that purpose. (4) The petition may be signed by either the mother or the father acting alone if a child has been given a surname which is different from that authorized in R.S. 40:34(B)(1)(a).
D. (1) A person who has been convicted of a felony shall not be entitled to petition for a change of name under the provisions of this Section until his sentence has been satisfied. This Subsection shall apply whether the offender is actually imprisoned or on probation or parole.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection or any other provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of any felony enumerated in R.S. 14:2(B) shall not be entitled to petition for a change of name.
13:4752. Representation of state; service
The proceedings shall be carried on contradictorily with the district attorney or district attorney pro tem of the parish in which the application is made, who shall represent the state, and who shall be served with a copy of the petition and citation to answer the same.
13:4753. Hearing and determination
The judge to whom the application is made, either in open court or in chambers, may proceed to hear and determine the case and render such judgment as the nature of the relief and the law and the evidence shall justify.
13:4754. Judgment; true and lawful name; altering birth record
A. If the prayer of the applicant is granted, judgment shall be rendered granting the change of name desired, which shall be the true and lawful name of the party asking the change after the recordation of the judgment in the miscellaneous records of the parish.
B. A Louisiana birth registrant seeking to have his original birth record altered to reflect his name change shall furnish the state registrar of vital records with a certified copy of the name change judgment, which judgment shall be accepted by the registrar who may alter only the name of the registrant.
13:4755. Payment of cost
The applicant in all cases shall pay the cost of the proceedings.