Frequently Asked Questions
- Who operates NameChangeLaw.com?
- Can I really represent myself in changing my own name?
- Who provides the answers to the legal information questions?
- What if I need legal advice?
- How do I contact NameChangeLaw.com?
- Who processes my credit card information when purchasing kits or services?
- Are my communications with NameChangeLaw.com secure?
- What is your refund policy?
A. The Name Change Law Center is operated by SmartLegalForms, Inc., a legal information services company based in Baltimore, Maryland and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We have been in business since 1998 and have operated a network of smart legal form web sites during this entire period, serving tens of thousands of consumers. We also provide a service to law firms to enable them to offer online legal services and automated legal documents. SmartLegalForms is a private company that is owned and operated by attorneys.
The President and founder of SmartLegalForms is
Richard S. Granat, who
is also the Managing Partner of
Granat Legal Services,
one of the nation's first virtual law firms. Mr. Granat has served as the Co-Chair of
the ELawyering Task Force of the
Management Section of the
Association, which has developed standards and guidelines for legal
information web sites. He also serves on the
Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services of the ABA, and
recently was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Bar
Association for Innovation in the Delivery of Legal Services. Mr. Granat helped
create the paralegal profession in the United States, and was the President of
the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training, the nation's first paralegal
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A. We believe that with accurate and complete legal information a person of reasonable intelligence and education can represent themselves in a wide variety of routine and uncontested legal matters. This assumption is based on fact. In an evaluation study undertaken by the University of Maryland School of Law of a sample drawn from over 10,000 pro se litigants in family matters in Maryland Courts, seventy-four (74%) reported that they were satisfied with the result and would represent themselves again. Fifty-four (54%) percent reported that they decided to represent themselves because they thought a lawyer would be too expensive, and an additional eighteen (18%) reported that they represented themselves because they did not think that the problem was sufficiently complicated that a lawyer's services were required. These research findings are supported by similar research in other jurisdictions which are collected at the Pro Se Law Center.
There are situations, however, when you should not represent yourself and instead should seek legal counsel from an attorney. For example, if you want to change your child's name, keep in mind that any parent or adult who retains parental or custodial rights over a minor child has a right, based in statute, to be notified and must provide consent or waiver of consent to legal actions regarding the minor. The actual law will vary from state to state, but the general rule is that both parents must consent to a name change for a minor child. Our name change forms are designed for uncontested legal actions only - actions where all interested parties can come to agreement.
On the other hand if your dispute is uncontested, securing a legal result is only a matter of filing the correct legal documents in the correct order. If you can follow instructions, you can represent yourself as a pro se litigant -- you don't need 3 years of law school to do it.(Back to Top)
A. Our Legal Research Team answers you directly, but, provides general legal information answers only --not legal advice--since we are not a law firm.(Back to Top)
A. If you need legal advice, defined as applying the law to the specific facts of your case, we recommend an attorney in your state. You can find a network of attorneys that offer name change forms bundled with legal advice for a fixed price at DirectLawConnect, a network of innovative law firms delivering legal services on-line.(Back to Top) (Back to Top)
A. We work with Chase Paymentech credit card processing, which is one of the largest credit card processors in the United States and processes your card securely and immediately for any credit card purchase made from this web site.(Back to Top)
A. NameChangeLaw.com is hosted on a secure Commerce Server, which uses the Secure Sockets Layer protocol. (SSL). It is a security protocol and emerging standard like HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to transfer information across the Internet. The main difference between the two, is that SSL, has made special provisions (via various encryption schemes) to transfer information securely across the Internet. SSL enables a Web site visitor's browser to connect and transparently negotiate a secure communication channel. Once this connection has been made, information can be exchanged with no chance of any unauthorized third party interpreting the data.(Back to Top)
A. We will refund 100% of your payment, for any self-help legal product purchased from NameChangeLaw.com, provided that you make your request within 3 days after purchase and that you certify that you have not used the form kits to prepare your legal forms. If for any reason a court will not accept forms that we have prepared or which you have purchased from us, we will refund your money provided that you send evidence of the court's rejection of our forms. To request a refund, contact us here. PLEASE NOTE: A separate refund policy exists for our Document Preparation Service. Please click here for those details.(Back to Top)