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NAME CHANGES. . . .FOR A FREE CONSULTATION BY PHONE OR EMAIL,
and REAL ESTATE
Name Changes, Purchase Agreement Reviews,. Real Estate Closings, Name Change Flat Fees ◊ Please click on your topic of interest above ◊ ◦ Name changes -- The Law Offices of Kristine W. Holt handles name change cases for a flat fee, which includes all filing fees, publication, service and judgment search costs.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey both provide for a personal change of name through court intervention. Pennsylvania also still recognizes name change by way of common usage.
In each state, the name change process begins by filing a complaint or petition with the court in the county the individual lives in. There the similarities end. In Pennsylvania, the petitioner also submits a fingerprint card completed by the State Police, which is used by the court for a criminal background search. Subsequent to filing, the court will schedule a hearing date to hear the petitioner's plea. The time between the filing and the hearing is when additional paperwork in completed. Pennsylvania requires a judgment search from all the different jurisdictions the petitioner has lived in within the past five years. Usually, the court only requires a general civil judgment search but, depending on the county, additional searches, such as from the Family Court, Orphans Court, etc., may be needed. In Mew Jersey, notice of the hearing must be sent to the District Attorney and the Attorney General, if there are any criminal issues in the petitioner's background. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey require pre-hearing newspaper publications: Pennsylvania requires two publications, one each in a local newspaper and the county legal journal; New Jersey requires one in a local newspaper. Pennsylvania law also has provisions for waiver of the publication requirement if, upon motion to the court, the petitioner can demonstrate that such publication might endanger their safety.
Most counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey require the petitioner to appear for a hearing and give testimony as to why they want to change their name. The hearing also gives anyone who would object to the name change the opportunity to express their position. Once the hearing is adjourned, the judge issues an order granting the petition. In Pennsylvania, this is the end of the process. In New Jersey, another publication of the order is required, and certified notice of the order must be send to the State Treasurer. Once proofs of these requirements are filed with the court, the order becomes final.
Name change petitions for children are similar to those for adults, but generally differ in the notice requirements.
In Pennsylvania, there is no attorney review period for purchase agreements,
so it is even more important to have an attorney review the document before
you sign it!
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