Legal Research and Writing

How to legally change your name?

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016

How to legally change your name?

There are some reasons why people decide to change their name. You might be recently divorced or got married, or you just want a new name. We will guide you through this process and give you directions how to obtain a new name in no time.

When you start this type of procedure, it is important to choose a proper name. In cases where you change your last name to match your spouses, or after divorce you want your old name back, you have a pattern here, and you can’t make a mistake. On the other hand, if you want to choose a brand new name, you must make sure it meets certain standards and regulations. For example, don’t choose a name that is hard to pronounce or that can be connected with violence, also avoid using the names of celebrities and don’t change your name to commit some fraud.

1197263842_af93a024_birth_certificate_richard_waters_reduced890It is important to have proper documentation; you can always visit your state’s website or local courthouse to find more about this subject. Each of these web pages has the forms required to file a request. On the other hand, you can always decide to use the help of the court’s clerk. If you are online in search for these documents, try typing something like documents and petition for change of the name. But you will need these papers: request for a change of name, evidence to show why are you changing the name, social security number, birth certificate and ID.

In the request, you will need to enter general information about yourself, your future name and the reason why are you changing the name. You also need to submit the document where you state a general reason why you wish to change your name, and in many states, it is a practice to publish information about the name in newspapers at least one week before the actual procedure. In this way, affected parties may object to your decision.

Once you fill in the request, you must gather all your documentation and take it to a local court that handles these type of situations. The court’s clerk will check your papers and may require some additional documentation, such as notarized application, California ask two copies of the application and some states request to post your name in local newspapers.

Each state will require from you to pay a fee for their services, the fee ranges between $100 and $200, but this fee might be much larger in some states, for example in California, you will have to pay $435. Once you pay that fee, the only thing is left to wait for the hearing date.

document_handoverWhen you attend your court hearing, the judge will review your request, and he will decide whether to grant of refuse your request, this all depends on documentation and reasons you submitted to the court.
If the judge grants you to change the name, you will get at name change decree, and you will use it to change your legal documents.

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