Michigan Legal Name Change
Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.
If, after reviewing the information below, you find the need for further legal assistance, you should visit this online legal service.
If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.
Michigan State Code:
Sec. 711.1. Change of name; procedure, minors.
(1) The family division of the circuit court, or until January 1, 1998, the probate court, for a county may enter an order to change the name of a person who has been a resident of the county for not less than 1 year and who in accordance with subsection (2) petitions in writing to the court for that purpose showing a sufficient reason for the proposed change and that the change is not sought with any fraudulent intent. If the person who petitions for a name change has a criminal record, the person is presumed to be seeking a name change with a fraudulent intent. The burden of proof is on a petitioner who has a criminal record to rebut the presumption. The court shall set a time and place for hearing and order publication as provided by Supreme Court rule.
(2) A person who is 22 years of age or older and who petitions to have his or her name changed shall have 2 complete sets of his or her fingerprints taken at a local police agency. The fingerprints, along with a copy of the petition and the required processing fees, shall be forwarded to the department of state police. The department of state police shall compare those fingerprints with its records and shall forward a complete set of fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation for a comparison with the records available to that agency. The department of state police shall report to the court in which the petition is filed the information contained in the department’s records with respect to any pending charges against the petitioner or any record of conviction of the petitioner and shall report to the court similar information obtained from the federal bureau of investigation. If there are no pending charges against the petitioner or any record of conviction against the petitioner, the department of state police shall destroy its copy of the petitioner’s fingerprints. The court shall not act upon the petition for a name change until the department of state police reports the information required by this subsection to the court.
(3) If the court enters an order to change the name of a person who has a criminal record, the court shall forward the order to the central records division of the Michigan state police and to 1 or more of the following:
(a) The department of corrections if the person named in the order is in prison or on parole or has been imprisoned or released from parole in the immediately preceding 2 years.
(b) The sheriff of the county in which the person named in the order was last convicted if the person was incarcerated in a county jail or released from a county jail within the immediately preceding 2 years.
(c) The court that has jurisdiction over the person named in the order if the person named in the order is under the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit court, or until January 1, 1998, the probate court, or has been discharged from the jurisdiction of that court within the immediately preceding 2 years.
(4) The court may permit a person having the same name, or a similar name to that which the petitioner proposes to assume, to intervene in the proceeding for the purpose of showing fraudulent intent.
(5) Except as provided in subsection (7), if the petitioner is a minor, the petition shall be signed by the mother and father jointly; by the surviving parent if 1 is deceased; if both parents are deceased, by the guardian of the minor; or by1 of the minor’s parents if there is only 1 legal parent available to give consent. If either parent has been declared mentally incompetent, the petition may be signed by the guardian for that parent. The written consent to the change of name of a minor 14 years of age or older, signed by the minor in the presence of the court, shall be filed with the court before any order changing the name of the minor is entered. If the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference, the court shall consult a minor under 14 years of age as to a change in his or her name, and the court shall consider the minor’s wishes.
(6) If the petitioner is married, the court, in its order changing the name of the petitioner, may include the name of the spouse, if the spouse consents, and may include the names of minor children of the petitioner of whom the petitioner has legal custody. The written consent to the change of name of a child 14 years of age or older, signed by the child in the presence of the court, shall be filed with the court before the court includes that child in its order. Except as provided in subsection (7), the name of a minor under 14 years of age may not be changed unless he or she is the natural or adopted child of the petitioner and unless consent is obtained from the mother and father jointly, from the surviving parent if 1 is deceased, or from 1 of the minor’s parents if there is only 1legal parent available to give consent. If the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference, the court shall consult a minor under 14 years of age as to a change in his or her name, and the court shall consider the minor’s wishes.
(7) The name of a minor may be changed pursuant to subsection (5) or (6) with the consent or signature of the custodial parent upon notice to the non custodial parent pursuant to supreme court rule and after a hearing in either of the following circumstances:
(a) If both of the following occur:
(i) The other parent, having the ability to support or assist in supporting the child, has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for the child or, if a support order has been entered, has failed to substantially comply with the order, for 2 years or more before the filing of the petition.
(ii) The other parent, having the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the child, has regularly and substantially failed or neglected to do so for 2 years or more before the filing of the petition.
(b) The other parent has been convicted of a violation of section 136b, 520b, 520c, 520d, 520e, or 520g of the Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being sections 750.136b, 750.520b to 750.520e, and 750.520g of the Michigan Compiled Laws, and the child or a sibling of the child is a victim of the crime.
(8) A false statement that is intentionally included within a petition for a name change constitutes perjury under section422 of the Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section 750.422 of the Michigan Compiled Laws .Amended by P.A. 1996, No. 106, § 1, Eff. March 31, 1997; P.A. 1996, No. 409, § 1, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998; P.A. 1996, No.495, § 1, Eff. March 31, 1997.
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