How can a spouse or minor child have their name changed in PA?

In Pennsylvania, a woman who has assumed the last name of her husband upon marriage can have her last name changed back to her maiden name once a PA divorce complaint has been filed and a written request is made to the court. A hearing or other court appearance is not required to complete the wife’s change of name.

On the other hand, changing the name of a minor child may be more challenging. Issues involving the last name of a minor child often arise when the mother and father are not married and the mother chooses the child’s last name without input from the biological father. If both parents are named on the child’s birth certificate and both parents agree to change the minor child’s name, the parents can do so by submitting a request to the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Statistics. If one parent desires to change a child’s name as listed on the minor child’s birth certificate and the other parent objects, a legal action must be filed and a hearing conducted to determine if it is appropriate to change the last name of a minor child.