Delaware 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.

Requirements to File for a Name Change in Delaware for an Adult

Certain requirements exist which must be met before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in Delaware. These requirements include:

  • You must have lived within the State of Delaware and the County in which you will be filing your application in for at least six (6) months.
  • You must file in the Court of Common Pleas in your county of residence.
  • You must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from Title 1, General Provisions, Chapter 7, Sec. 701 of the Delaware Code, "A person of the age of 18 years or older on June 16, 1972, and any person who attains the age of 18 years thereafter, shall be deemed to be of full legal age for all purposes whatsoever and shall have the same duties, liabilities, responsibilities, rights and legal capacity as persons heretofore acquired at 21 years of age unless otherwise provided."
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid debts or to defraud creditors or anyone else.

General Summary of Name Change Laws/Procedures in Delaware for an Adult

In Delaware, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Court of Common Pleas with appropriate forms. The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in Delaware begins with the filing of a Petition with the Court of Common Pleas in the jurisdiction in which the Petitioner resides. As indicated above, the Petitioner (the person who initiates the suit/application) must have lived within the State of Delaware and the County in which they will be filing their application in for at least six (6) months.

The Petition includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Petitioner's name, the new name the Petitioner wishes to adopt and the reasons for the request for change of name. The Petition must be verified by Affidavit. The Petitioner must publish a notice in a specified newspaper once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks, PRIOR to filing his/her Petition and other appropriate forms.

After publication is complete, the newspaper typically mails the Petitioner an Affidavit of Publication. The Petitioner should keep the Affidavit of Publication with his/her copies of the Petition for Name Change, its accompanying Affidavit and the Notice of Name Change and bring it with them on the date they come back to the court to file their documents. On that date, the Clerk will collect the filing fee(s) and will either inform the Petitioner of the date and time of his/her hearing or will direct the Petitioner to choose a hearing date.

At the hearing, the Court may take evidence from all interested parties and may examine, upon oath, the Petitioner or any other persons concerning the Petition. In the event that anyone files an objection to your request, your case will become contested and you are strongly urged to hire an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing.

The Court may grant or refuse the requested change of name. If everything is in order (the statutory requirements have been satisfied) and the Court agrees to the intent and nature of the Petition (that the requested name change would be proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person), the Court will sign an Order making the name change official.

If any additional timeframe must expire before the Petitioner can begin using his/her new name, the clerk of the Court will advise the Petitioner of such.

Delaware Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95

Epubliceye Safe Shopper Site BBB Reliability Program eCommerce by Chase Paymentech SSL Security by GeoTrust

What Our Customers Say