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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Name Changes In Maryland

Written by Amar Weisman » October 14, 2015 »

There are a variety of reasons why someone would want to have his or her name changed. Some choose to do so after they get married, while others might want to change their names for religious or personal reasons. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that there are several steps that must be taken in order to have your name changed -- but there are also steps that will need to be taken if you object to someone changing his or her name.

Why would anyone object to a name change? With respect to an adult seeking a name change, an objection may be brought by someone who believes the individual is only changing his or her name in an effort to evade the law or commit fraud. However, it is more common in Milford Mill to hear of an objection to a name change when it comes to changing a child's name, and it usually involves one parent against the other.

The following information is provided to give individuals a sense of the objection process and answers to commonly-asked questions. Those with specific questions and concerns are always encouraged to contact a Towson family law attorney as soon as possible to get the most accurate and up-to-date information as it pertains to the specifics of their case.

How Do I Object to Someone's Name Change?

First of all, it is important to know and understand what an objection is. Generally, objections are statements that basically state that you are against granting the person's request for a name change. You will need to have a valid reason for the objection to the change and you must be able to state it clearly in a sworn written statement known as an affidavit.

The affidavit is a written document that is typically sworn to be true under penalty of perjury. The contents of the document must have been obtained through personal knowledge, must detail the facts involved and must demonstrate that the individual making the objection is, in fact, competent to testify to the matters noted within the affidavit. Once the affidavit is complete, it must be filed with the court.

To be clear, to object, you must demonstrate that you know firsthand that the individual seeking the name change is doing so for a fraudulent or illegal reason. You must be able to describe how you obtained the knowledge or detail what you personally observed, and you must be willing and able to testify to it in front of a judge.

What Are Valid Reasons for an Objection?

With respect to a parent seeking to change a child's name, the other parent may object to that change if the filing parent is attempting to change the minor child's last name against the other parent's wishes.

With regard to adults, as noted above, a person can object to the change if he or she knows that the petitioner (the person seeking the name change) is trying to avoid paying taxes or other debts, or attempting to perpetrate some other type of illegal act.

What Steps Must Be Taken After Filing the Affidavit?

Once the affidavit is complete, it must be served on the person seeking the name change (the petitioner), as required by Maryland law. After that, the petitioner may choose to file a response to the objection, but he or she must do so within 15 days of being served. Anyone who wants a hearing regarding the objection must make the request in the objection/response to the objection.

Call For a Free Consultation With a Towson Law Firm. 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore & Towson Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.