There are many situations that make people want to change their name. For your name to be legally changed, you must take the specific legal steps. While the name change process is formal and has important legal implications, it is simple enough for you to do it on your own without the help of a lawyer, in almost all cases. Generally, you can change your legal name if you meet the minimum age requirements in your state and if you chose a name that is acceptable under the law.
Choosing a new name: restrictions on name change
When your divorce occurs, state laws make it easier to change your name to the name of your spouse in the marriage or return to your maiden name or the name you were given at birth. If you want to change your name for reasons other than family changes, then you are usually allowed to do so, as long as the name you chose:
- It does not have a fraudulent intention: it cannot change its name with the intention of hiding something or to have an advantage (for example, an inheritance to which it is not entitled).
- The change was not made with the purpose of confusing others: you cannot take the name of a famous person with the intention of confusing the public about your true identity. However, if a marriage or divorce would give him the same name as a famous person, then his name change will be allowed and he will be authorized by the court because his purpose relates to his marital situation and not to confuse the the rest.
- It is not racial slander or an aggressive word: his name should not incite others to violence or insult or anger of groups of people.
- Contains Letters: In general, names that contain numeric characters instead of letters have been rejected by the courts.
Where to change your name?
If you wish to change your name and the proposed change does not conform to any of the restrictions described above, such change is a relatively easy process. If you are changing your name for a reason other than marriage or divorce, or if you are changing the name of a minor, you may need a court order that will probably be granted if the name does not meet any of the restrictions previously indicated in this article.
If you are changing your name because of a marriage or divorce, then you can simply provide a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree issued by the government to other institutions that require notification of your name change.
Those institutions are:
- The Social Security administration.
- The department of motor vehicles (DMV).
- Post Office.
- Your employer
- His school.
- The banks.
- The creditors
- Public services.
- Insurance companies.
- Passport Office
- Voter registration and other institutions that may be applicable in your case, such as the administration of Veterans or the office Public Assistance.
Changing your name is a great decision and often an important event in your life. However, the legal treatment of your name change is not difficult, as long as you notify all parties that require notification, as described above.
Talk to a lawyer qualified in Family Law today
This article is intended to be useful and informative, but legal issues can become complicated and stressful. A lawyer qualified in family law can attend to your particular legal needs, explain the law and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified family law attorney near you to discuss your particular legal situation.