Arkansas Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your/one's name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your/one's name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions, which involve a minor, our materials are strictly for use if both parents consent to the name change. If one parent does not consent, our materials are not appropriate. The applicant may wish to contact a local lawyer, bar association, etc.

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

General Summary of Name Change Law/Procedure in Arkansas for an Adult

In Arkansas, an adult (see below for a detailed definition of the age of majority), who wishes, for good cause shown, to change their name, by court order, must file their Petition for Change of Name with the Chancery or Circuit Court in the jurisdiction in which (s)he (the Petitioner) resides.

Following is the definition of age of majority, as taken directly from the Arkansas Code, 9-25-101, Age of majority - Exceptions.;

"(a) All persons of the age of eighteen (18) years shall be considered to have reached the age of majority and be of full age for all purposes. Until the age of eighteen (18) years is attained, they shall be considered minors."

"(b) Any law of the State of Arkansas which presently requires a person to be of a minimum age of twenty-one (21) years to enjoy any privilege or right or to do any act or to participate in any event, election, or other activity shall be deemed to require that person to be of a minimum age of eighteen (18) years. However, this section shall not repeal, amend, or otherwise affect any existing laws concerning or in any way relating to beer, wines, spirituous, vinous, malt liquors, or other alcoholic beverages, and the sale thereof to persons under twenty-one (21) years of age."

The Petition includes some personal information as well as the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt and the reasons for the request for change of name, as required by statute.

After filing a Petition and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court may or may not set the Petition for a hearing and will advise you if publication of any notice is required. Because, notice is not required by statute, and is discretionary, our Arkansas Name Change for an Adult materials, DO NOT include information regarding this procedure. Procedure will, often times, vary from county to county. Consequently, we recommend that you follow the exact directions of the clerk of the court where you anticipate filing in your particular case.

Sometimes, the party wishing to change his or her name doesn't have to appear before the Chancellor/Judge at all. If a hearing is scheduled, the Petitioner shall appear personally before the court at the date and time set forth for his/her hearing. Typically the court hearing will be informal and heard in a minimum amount of time by either a Chancellor or Judge. At the time of the hearing, the Court will hear any reasonable objections to the requested relief, may question the Petitioner as to the reasons for the requested name change and consider any questions raised as to the Petitioner's intent.

If, from the Petition, with or without a hearing, it appears to the court that the Petitioner is entitled to the requested relief, the court will issue an Order allowing the requested name change. Once the order is signed, your name is legally changed.

Name Change Forms

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Adult Name Change $29.95

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Adult Name Change $99.95

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