There are many reasons to change your name. The process in each state can vary, but a name change in SC is relatively straightforward. Here’s what you need to know so you can get it done.
You need to petition the family court to legally change your name in any state, including South Carolina. Whether you’re changing your last name due to marriage, divorce, or other life circumstance, or changing your first name, there is a process that you must follow. According to the South Carolina Legislature, the process includes the following:
- Petition the court in writing and include the reason for the change.
- Complete fingerprinting and a criminal background check.
- Provide a statement from the Department of Social Services to prove you are not on the child abuse and neglect registry.
- Proof from State Law Enforcement that you are not on the sex offender registry.
- Provide information and documentation on court orders, including child support or alimony.
There are additional steps and considerations depending on the petitioner’s age, whether there is a criminal background, and sometimes the reason for the name change.
Why You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney
The documentation required, and elements that must be pled in your petition, are governed by South Carolina statute. Some steps in the name change process are easy to complete on your own, but others can be more complicated. Anytime you deal with the court system, issues and questions can be challenging to manage. This is especially true when you need consent from another parent for a child’s name change, when there may be a criminal history or prior court orders, or if someone contests the name change. Additionally, the documentation required can be overwhelming to assemble. An attorney can help you navigate all these areas, simplify the process for you, and help you reach your goal of attaining your brand new (or former) name.
Contact the experienced family law team at McCutchen McLean, LLC today for a free consultation regarding how to change your name in South Carolina.