South Carolina 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.
South Carolina State Code:
Sec. 15-49-10. Application for change of name.
(A) A person who desires to change his name may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit, setting forth the reason for the change, his age, his place of residence and birth, and the name by which he desires to be known.
(B) A parent who desires to change the name of his minor child may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit. The other parent, if there is not one then the child, must be named as a party in the action unless waived by the court. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child.
Sec. 15-49-20. Court shall exercise discretion. Upon such petition and the reason therein contained, the judge shall determine and grant or refuse the prayer thereof, as to him shall appear proper, having a due regard to the true interest of the petitioner.
Sec. 15-49-30. Filing fee. The filing fee provided in Section 8-21-310(11)(a) applies with respect to an action for change of name.
Sec. 8-21-310. Schedule of fees and costs to be collected. (11)(a) For filing first complaint or petition, including application for a remedial and prerogative writ and bond on attachment or other bond, in a civil action or proceeding, in a court of record, one hundred dollars. There is no further fee for filing an amended or supplemental complaint or petition nor for filing any other paper in the same action or proceeding. An original application for post conviction relief may be filed without fee upon permission of the court to which the application is addressed. There is no further fee for entering and filing a verdict, judgment, final decree, or order of dismissal, and enrolling a judgment thereon, for signing, sealing, and issuance of execution, or for entering satisfaction or partial satisfaction on a judgment.
Sec. 15-49-40. Use of new name in legal proceedings; effect on pending proceedings. The person so changing his name may thereafter sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded by his new name and no other. When an action shall be pending at the time of such change of name it shall not abate by the party’s name being changed, but the record on motion shall be amended by expunging the old name and inserting the new name of the party.
Sec. 15-49-50. Effect of change on old obligations. When a person changing his name is bound by obligation or otherwise, the effect of which obligation would extend to and impose any obligation on the heirs, executors or administrators of the person so having changed his name, such heirs, executors or administrators shall be and remain bound, to all intents and purposes, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the person had not changed his name.
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