Personal & Family FYIs

Personal & Family Overview

  • To change your name in Virginia, you must file a notarized petition of name change in the circuit court where you live with a civil cover sheet. Some courts have their own forms, but the Virginia court system does have a general form available if your jurisdiction does not have its own.
  • A proposed order for the judge to sign if the name change is granted should accompany the petition. The court may hold a hearing, at which time you will have the opportunity to explain your request for a name change.
  • “In any such application and hearing, if such be demanded, the court, shall, unless the evidence shows that the change of name is sought for a fraudulent purpose or would otherwise infringe upon the rights of others[…], order a change of name.” Va. Code § 8.01-217.  
  • To correct your Virginia birth certificate, you can file a form for changing sex designation directly to the Virginia Department of Vital Records after obtaining your healthcare professional’s signature with an application for a birth certificate that reflects the updated information.
  • Those born out of the Commonwealth of Virginia should look to the state of their birth for guidance on this process. 
  • If there are no children involved, you can get a no-fault divorce after 6 months of separation, without any cohabitation during that time, and after signing a separation agreement. Va. Code. § 20-91(9)(a).


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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not meant to advise on any particular legal issue. Laws change every year and it is possible that the information is no longer current or valid. For help with specific legal issues, you should consult an attorney.