Changing Your Name in Missouri

There are many methods and occasions in which a person may want to change their legal name. These occasions include changing your name upon marriage or during the procedure of adoption or naturalization. However, individuals also have a statutory right to change their name as part of a gender transition or simply because they want to.

Trying to legally change your name is typically a routine task. It involves submitting a name change petition to the court in which you will have to explain why you want it. You may have to sign your petition under oath.
Missouri generally doesn’t require a hearing in the name change process. A judge will review your petition and, if satisfied, issue a judgment regarding your legal name change. If approved, you may have to publish notice of a court-approved name change in a local newspaper at least once a week for three weeks.


Can a Request to Change My Name Be Denied?

The reasons to deny a request by an adult to legally change his or her name are:
1. Your name has previously been legally changed. This is not an automatic denial, it is just a reason that the judge may say no. Repeated requests to change one’s name without some rational basis for doing so may raise a red flag.

2. There are judgments against you ordering you to pay money to another person or business that have not been paid (satisfied).

3. The change requested will be detrimental to another person (such as if you seek to change your name to the same name as another person.

Judges are generally very lenient about name changes: I have seen someone change his middle name to “Shaka Zulu”, another change his first name to 7 (yes, the numeral 7) and yet another change her first name to “Summer” because it was her favorite season and her last name to the name of her favorite city to visit.


Can The Carson Law Firm Help With the Name Change?

Missouri law says that the court can deny a name change request only in certain instances. The judge also has the discretion to deny a name change if the requested new name is obscene, offensive, or bizarre. You also can’t name yourself after a governmental entity or change it in a way that would harm a third party.

If the judge denies your name change, and you think your request is not against any of the examples above, get in touch with The Carson Law Firm. We may be able to reverse the denied name change on appeal. Contact us today so we can discuss the circumstances of your case.