Anoka Attorney Discusses Name Change Laws and Cases

Any adult can apply to their district court for a name change, for themselves and for their minor children, at any time so long as they have resided in Minnesota for longer than 180 days.  This is covered under Minnesota Statute Section 259.  In addition, and as part of a dissolution of marriage proceeding, either spouse may request a change of his or her own name.  The advantage to this latter method is that the name change does not require an additional filing fee.  The disadvantage is that name changes pursuant to dissolutions are not extended to the minor children, and under 259.10, no minor child’s name may be changed without both parents having notice of the pending of the application for change of name. The court shall grant a request unless it finds that there is an intent to defraud or mislead, unless the name change is subject to section 259.13 (if someone has been convicted of certain criminal offenses), in which case the requirements of that section apply. The court shall notify the parties that use of a different surname after dissolution or legal separation without complying with section 259.13, if applicable, is a gross misdemeanor. I have seen many nuances to name changes in my years in Anoka County.  A few folks have opted to remove their last name completely and a few men have demanded that their soon-to-be ex-wife ‘give him his name back’.  The Court will grant permission for any reasonable name change, but in the latter case, I always let them know that under the divorce statute, the ‘requesting party’ can only have...
SEO MN