INSTRUCTIONS: DE CHANGE OF NAME PETITIONS SUSSEX COUNTY
The petitioner (and minor in applicable cases) must be a resident in the county where the petition is filed. There is no statewide Petition for changing a name. For specific instructions on changing the name of a minor, regard Attachment A of the packet.
“DE Change of Name Petitions Sussex County Step 1”
The following forms are required along with the Petition:
· Notice of Name Change for Publication
· Questionnaire for Name Change of Minor Child (in appropriate cases)
· Form Letter for Name Change of Minor (in appropriate cases)
Before filing the papers with the Court, the petitioner needs to file a Notice of Name changes with a local newspaper once a week for three weeks. After the publications, the newspaper will provide an Affidavit of Publication.
“DE Change of Name Petitions Sussex County Step 2”
Complete the Petition for Name Change and attach the Affidavit. Have the forms notarized. The Clerk will mail a copy of the Order after it is signed by the Judge or Commissioner. If your address changes before the mailing of the Order, you need to notify the Clerk.
“DE Change of Name Petitions Sussex County Step 3”
Staple all of the following documents together and submit them to the Clerk:
· Notarized Petition and Affidavit
· Affidavit of Publication
· Certified copy of birth certificate
You’ll need to pay a filing fee of $78.00. You’ll be provided with two additional copies. If you need more copies, each copy will cost $10.00. After the filing fees are paid, you need to choose a hearing date.
“DE Change of Name Petitions Sussex County Step 4”
All hearings for Sussex County are heard at the Sussex County Courthouse in the Georgetown Circle. Make sure you appear at least 30 minutes before the hearing so you can check with the bailiff to find the appropriate courtroom.
During the hearing, the judge will ask the petitioner why they wish to change their name. If the minor is 14 years or older, they are allowed to provide their own testimony as well. The hearing is usually short and informal.
“DE Change of Name Petitions Sussex County Step 5”
If the judge approves the name change, the Clerk will provide the petition with a certificate indicating when the new name can be used.