Plan for the Hearing
It is important to prepare for your hearing if it is required. Plan to wear nice clothes so that you feel comfortable with the other people at the courthouse.
Plan to bring:
Prepare for any questions the judge might ask you:
If everything on your petition is true and correct
The applicant’s current and new names
The spelling of the applicant’s new name
The reason the applicant is changing their name
If the applicant is transgender they do not have to share this with the judge. Although they can if they feel comfortable.
The applicant can also tell the judge “This is the name I am known by” or “This name better reflects my identity”.
Attend the Hearing
If the judge grants your petition they will sign the court order. They will also tell you if you need to publicize the applicant’s name change in the local newspaper.
If the applicant’s case requires publication you will not receive the final order until that step is complete. Otherwise, the judge should be able to tell you when the final order will be ready.
The court clerk can usually make certified copies of the signed order for a small fee. We recommend that you get at least 5 certified copies of the signed order. These will be needed for changing the applicant’s name on the remaining documents.
If you need more certified copies of the signed order you can request them from the court at any time. Please keep these copies in a safe place as you will need them in the next section.