General Question

DigitalBlue's avatar

What do I need to know about changing my name?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7102points) April 11th, 2019

I’m considering choosing a brand new last name after my divorce. I know that it’s an option for me to return to my maiden name, but for several reasons I like the idea of a new name altogether.

Is that an option? Do I need to do anything special to change my name or all name changes pretty much the same?

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6 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It’s governed by your state, but yes, you should be able to change it.

Most states, you have to fill out a form, and they are basically making sure there is no reason your other name doesn’t have any arrest warrants, or reasons that you would be purposely trying to commit a fraud or scam people. Some states have a waiting period, and some other hoops, some states it’s very fast, and you fill out the forms, and then go in front of a judge and he o.k.‘s the change. Some states maybe you don’t even need to appear in person, I don’t know.

Google your state and change name and see if you can locate the form on your government website, it should come with instructions. Or, call the county court house, and they can probably help you. Local government is usually very helpful.

janbb's avatar

You need to check what your state’s rules are. At my divorce hearing, I changed my name back to my birth name and there was no charge. I would assume you could change to any name at that point but do check on your state’s rules.

Inspired_2write's avatar

My sister did that and had negative backlash from family and friends.

It has been years now and she still cannot get acceptance as in the family she is only identified as her original name.
( she not only changed surname from first name as well..which at that time in the 1960’s etc was considered hair-brained, as she did other things like following a group called
” Kabalarian Philosophy” ..which involves in depth numerology, that encourages name changes).

Now on her fourth marriage /relationship she yet again has her surname changed by marriage. Her present husband was informed by a friend who checked up on her checkered past that she had long list of alias surnames ( some marriage others her legal name change).
This name change caused several authorities to check on her records in the past as this is a bad sign of hiding something. Just letting you know of the effect it has on others not just yourself. This is one example but I am sure it is easier and more accepted now?

JLeslie's avatar

It looks like you need to have lived in your particular state at least one year, and you have to publish something in the newspaper, and then it should be no problem to get it approved.

If you simply go back to your maiden name, that just gets handed in with your divorce documents. Your lawyer might be able to request your new name with your divorce documents also, that I don’t know. It is two separate things to change name due to divorce, and to change name because you feel like it. Google probate court your county and state. It three me a little that it is under probate, so am not 100% sure it is the correct form that pops up.

Kardamom's avatar

Here is info for changing your name, legally, in all 50 states. I’m assuming you are in the US.

Cupcake's avatar

I was unable to change my name in my divorce to a new name (other than my maiden name, which I ultimately chose), but I could have petitioned for a name change outside of my divorce proceedings.

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