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How do you get a legal name change in Ohio?

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11/17/2008

OHIO -FRANKLIN COUNTY Change of Name Procedures

Ohio law requires every individual who desires to have his or her name legally changed to make that request known to the Probate Court located in the county seat where he or she resides. Upon petitioning the court, a hearing to discuss the request is scheduled. (This information will be found in The Daily Reporter under Judicial Proceedings, Common Pleas Court Probate Division, New Cases.)

The person requesting the name change (the petitioner) then is required to notify the public of the request by publishing a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the petition was filed. Newspapers must meet specific criteria in order to qualify to publish the notice. The Daily Reporter meets all of the criteria for publishing notices filed in Franklin County and has published legal notices since 1896.

Each change of name notice must include the petitioner's current name and the proposed name change. If the change of name is for a minor, a parent or legal guardian may request the notice on the child's behalf. Although it is not for publication, The Daily Reporter also asks for the petitioner's telephone number in case there is a question about the information provided, and for a current address so that a copy of the published notice can be mailed to him or her.

The required notice will be published in the newspaper one time at least 30 days prior to the hearing date. (This information will be found in The Daily Reporter under Public Notices, Change of Name Hearing.) After publication, The Daily Reporter will prepare "Proof of Publication" and "Preliminary Proof" documents.

If payment for the cost of publishing the notice has been made in advance, The Daily Reporter will mail the Preliminary Proof to the petitioner, and it should be received within a few days after the notice is published. The Preliminary Proof serves as the petitioner's "receipt" that the required notice has been published. A copy of the notice, as it appeared in The Daily Reporter, will be attached to the document. Petitioners should examine it carefully to be certain all of the information is correct. If there is an error, or if the Preliminary Proof is not received within 10 business days, the petitioner should contact The Daily Reporter's legal notice department at (614) 224-4835. The petitioner should store the preliminary proof in a safe place, since duplicate proofs may be subject to a $15 fee.

The final "Proof of Publication" also contains a copy of the notice as it appeared in the newspaper. In addition, this document contains a sworn statement that the notice was published in The Daily Reporter newspaper. This final proof of publication is sent directly to Probate Court and it will become part of the official record.

If the petitioner has additional questions concerning the judicial proceedings he or she should contact the Franklin County Probate Court and ask to speak to one of their representatives. The court's main telephone number is (614) 462-3894.