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Name Changes in Texas

Information about legally changing one's name in the state of Texas.

Name Changes for Children


Note Changing your child's legal name does not automatically update their birth certificate, Social Security card, or any other records. You will have to update these documents individually. See the page on Updating Your Documents After a Name Change for more information.

Changing a Child's Name Through a Court Order

This page contains information about changing a child's name through a court order. For name changes during adoption, see Name Changes Through Adoption.

Texas Law

A child's name is not automatically changed when a parent changes their legal name. If a parent gets married or divorced and wants to change their child's name, they may have to apply for a court order. Texas Family Code Chapter 45 establishes the formal process for changing a child's legal name through the courts.

You can apply to change the name of a child for any reason, but the judge will only approve the request if "the change is in the best interest of the child." If so, the court will issue a court order changing the child's legal name. This law is in Subsection 45.004(1).

For children with certain types of criminal history, additional requirements will apply. See Subsection 45.004(2) for more information.

Overview

The process starts by filing a petition to change your child's legal name. This is usually done in a district clerk's office in the county where the child lives. Some counties may accept online applications. The exact process will vary from court to court, but common steps include:

Resources in the "Understanding the Law" section below provide more in-depth information. Contact your district clerk's office if you have questions about the filing process. 

Understanding the Law

The following articles explain the law and the name change process in more detail.

Forms

Online Forms

Note As librarians and not attorneys, we cannot determine which forms, if any, are right for you to use. The links are for reference purposes only and are not a substitute for legal advice.

The district clerk's website for a specific county may have online forms for use in that county. 

Resources that contain general Texas name change forms are listed below. You may access library e-books with a free library account or contact us for help. 

Printed Forms

Note As librarians and not attorneys, we cannot determine which forms, if any, are right for you to use. The links are for reference purposes only and are not a substitute for legal advice.

The district clerk's office for a specific county may have printed forms for use in that county. If your county has a public law library, it may also have forms. Contact them directly for more information. 

Print resources that contain general Texas name change forms are listed below. These titles may be accessed at the library.

Related Resources

Research Guides

FAQs

Additional Resources