Name Change: Restoring Civil Rights

When a party files a petition for change of name, that party must swear under oath that his or her civil rights have never been suspended or, if civil rights have been suspended, they have subsequently been restored.  This requirement is found in Section 68.07, Florida Statutes.

When are civil rights suspended?  In general terms, civil rights are suspended when a person is convicted of a felony.  Those lost rights include the right to vote, hold public office, or serve on a jury.

Florida, like most states, provides for a process of restoration of those rights.  The person must apply to the Office of Executive Clemency.  In determining whether to grant a restoration, the Executive Clemency Board will consider, among other things, the following:

  • The nature of the offense;
  • Whether the applicant has any history of mental instability, drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Whether the applicant has a prior or subsequent criminal record, including traffic offenses;
  • The applicant’s employment;
  • Whether the applicant is current or delinquent on child support requirements; and
  • Letters submitted in support of, or opposition to, the grant of executive clemency.

As a petition for change of name will not be granted if the party’s civil rights have been suspended without being restored, an application for restoration should be done well in advance of any petition.

If you have questions regarding changing your legal name in Florida, schedule a consultation with Adam B. Cordover of Family Diplomacy at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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