You may file an application for name change for an adult in this circuit court if you reside in the City of Virginia Beach or as part of a pending action for divorce action filed in this court in the form of an order to resume a former or maiden name.
Name Change for an Adult
First print and refer to the instruction form on how to complete the application. The Application for Adult Name Change is available in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. Click inside the first field you wish to edit. Begin typing. Use your "Tab" key to navigate forward through the different fields. Use the "Shift" plus "Tab" keys together to go back. These forms are located under Related Information on the right of this page.
Also included under Related Information is a sample Order for Change of Name of an Adult. You must submit a properly completed typed order with the application. This form is not available in a fillable format but must be typed and properly completed. The sample order form explains what information is required in the order (when typing the order you should not include the heading or words "Insert One", but only include the wording of the correct statement being inserted).
Being a statutory action, the application and order must strictly comply with the requirements of the code. Click here to link to Virginia Code § 8.01-217. File the properly completed application and typed order in the circuit court clerk's office. Submit following documents:
1. Original application plus 2 copies;
2. Original order plus 4 copies;
3. A self-addressed stamped envelope; and
4. $39 filing fee payable to circuit court clerk. No personal checks or credit cards accepted.
Restoration of former name Incident to a Divorce
Virginia Code § 20-121.4 provides that upon a decree of divorce, a party who changed his or her name by reason of a marriage, may motion the court to restore such party's former name or maiden name by a separate order meeting the requirements of § 8.01-217.
Provided that you have made a motion to restore your former name or maiden name at the divorce hearing before the divorce commissioner or the judge, you may submit a properly completed typed order along with a $21 clerk's recording fee to the circuit court clerk's office. Otherwise you must follow the procedures for a Name Change for an Adult described above. A sample Order Restoring Former Name Incident to a Divorce is located under Related Content on this page. This sample order form explains what information is required in the order. This order should be sent contemporaneously with the final divorce decree.
Name Change of a Minor
To change the name of a minor, one or both of the legal parents may petition the circuit court for the city/county in which you live. The petition must be made under oath and comply with all the requirements of Virginia Code Section § 8.01-217. Also, the applicant must affirm that the name change is not sought with any fraudulent intent and that the name change is in the best interest of the minor. A filing fee must be paid at time the petition is filed.
Both legal parents must agree to the proposed name change. If only one parent files the petition, notice must be given for the other parent to respond at a hearing unless waived by the court. The name change does not terminate any legal parental rights.
This court does not provide any forms for a name change of a minor. An application form [cc-1427] is available on the Official Website for the Virginia Supreme Court at http://courts.state.va.us/forms/circuit/civil.html
. However, an order to change a minor's name is not provided. You are responsible for ensuring that the application and order comply with all statutory requirements or seek an attorney for legal assistance.
Circumstances when a Court Hearing is Required
Most name changes are granted without a hearing. Hearings are required if:
In the case of a minor who has both parents living and a parent does not join in the application. Such parent shall be served with reasonable notice of the application unless waived by the court.
A written motion for an ex parte hearing for a judge to consider a waiver of such notice requirement may be set on the court's duty judge docket. Contact the duty judge's assistant at (757) 385-4501, option #2, to arrange a date and time. At such ex parte hearing the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that such notice would present a serious threat to the health and safety of the applicant.
Should a parent object to the change of name after being served with notice, a hearing to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the minor shall be set on the court's trial docket. A trial date may be set by the filing of a praecipe in the clerk's office, or if a trial date is agreed to by both parties by appearing in the judges' office or contacting the duty judge's assistant at (757) 385-4501, option #2.
Should a parent not object to the change of name after being service with notice, a hearing for entry of the order of name change shall be set on the court's Friday motion docket by filing a written notice in the clerk's office.
The applicant is requesting the record sealed because the applicant can show cause to believe that in the event his or her change of name should become a public record a serious threat to the health and safety of the applicant or the applicant's immediate family would exist. This hearing is scheduled with the chief judge of this court before the filing of the application in the clerk's office. Call the chief judge's judicial assistant at (757) 385-8680 to schedule such hearing.