Transgender and Name Changes
As a highly trained and experienced family law attorney and certified mediator, Darren. M. Shapiro, Esq. has dealt with a variety of family-based and personal issues within the scope of the law. Today, the concept of identity has become more publicized than ever before, with numerous groups embracing the idea that individuals should be able to embrace their own specific conception of themselves, regardless of whether or not it reflects societal norms or physical attributes. For individuals who identify themselves as transgender, a lack of conformity to the conventional notions of male and female gender roles is a standard challenge. Unfortunately, many transgender people - especially younger individuals - feel reluctant to take steps in getting their names changed on a legal basis, because they have concerns about the amount of hassle that may be involved, or feel nervous about approaching a court room setting.
It's important to note that many psychological professionals believe that all of us, regardless of our age or culture, are born with a gender identity - an innate sense of whether we are male, or female creatures. Most of the time, at least at a statistical level, people find that their gender identity correlates with the corresponding aspects of their anatomy. However, it seems that transgender individuals recognize an identity that is disparate to their physical appearance, leaving them with the feeling that they are living in someone else's body.
Though Mr. Shapiro recognizes the difficulties involved in expressing and defining your true self in the eyes of the law, if a name change can help transgender individuals obtain the identity that is right for them, we have and continue to help. The lack of a legal name change can cause various difficulties within a person's life. For example, they may find that they struggle getting a job because they worry too much about filing out job applications where their true legal name may be revealed. Darren Shapiro takes his clients carefully through each step of the legal name change process so that individuals may obtain a legal identity that matches their internal experience. Living with the wrong name could be an unnecessary agony that leads to further discrimination and greater internal turmoil for those involved.
As with many legal procedures, securing a legally recognized change of name can be somewhat challenging, as you will be required to interact with a court system that you may not understand. Fortunately, this is where family law attorney Darren M. Shapiro's help becomes so valuable; he will assist individuals throughout New York City and the surrounding areas, Long Island, Nassau County or Suffolk County in filing a petition with the appropriate courts for leave to assume another name. Once this petition has been issued, the court in question will need to conduct an analysis into whether any reasonable objections currently exist that would prevent the change of name from taking place.
When an individual chooses to apply for a legal name change, it is important to note that the court will have to factor in a number of different issues to ensure that everything remains above board. As such, the client may need to provide Mr. Shapiro and the court with certain information. One of the things that a court will have to analyze in its consideration of "reasonable objections" is whether the individual filing the petition is attempting to change their name to commit fraud or avoid financial obligations. Subsequently, clients may be asked if their taxes have been paid, if they have ever been convicted of a felony, or if they have ever declared bankruptcy. Other information that may need to be provided includes whether any judgments or liens have been made against the applicants, whether they are up to date with any obligations of child support, and whether they are involved in any ongoing or pending cases.
With the correct information at hand, Mr. Shapiro and his clients will be able to submit the petition alongside the order that should be signed by a judge once the name change is permitted. With the petition, clients will be asked to provide a birth certificate or some other proof of birth with their petition papers. If your request to change your name on a legal basis is approved by the court of your choice, you will be asked to publish a notification regarding that change within a newspaper. Although the petitions that are filed for changing a name legally are generally matters of public record, certain circumstances may prompt a court to dispense with the publication requirement if there is evidence that issues of personal safety are in question.
The parents, general guardian, "next friend" or guardian of a child's person may file a petition to legally change a child's name. If one particular party makes the application, the other aforementioned individuals will be entitled to be given notice regarding the petition submitted for a change of name. One thing that both Mr. Shapiro will try to help shape, since the court must consider, is whether the name change is in the best interests of the child in question when it is a child’s name change application. Recently, attorney Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. obtained a successful name change for a transgender child dealing with an issue of “gender dysphoria”. In simple terms, the child did not identify with the sex that had been assigned to her at birth. After some discussion, the child's therapist determined that the child could benefit more from changing her name to one that was more gender neutral.
All people under the law have the right to retain their old names or change to new ones for various reasons, and the state will not charge fees to individuals who choose to change their name on methods of identification to reflect their new identity as sanctioned by the law. To learn more about the process of changing a name, or discover more about family law, please reach out to us for more information. If you are interested in accessing Mr. Shapiro's help as a professional attorney, do not hesitate to contact us, it would be our pleasure to speak with you about how we can help.