How to Undergo a Court Petitioned Name Change
There are so many reasons for seeking a name change. One might be divorced or seeking a divorce and might want to go back to a past married name or maiden name. It is also possible one has changed his or her gender and a name change might be in order.
Perhaps you have gotten married recently and you realize there is a need to take the last name of the spouse. In this case, going to court might not be a must since the local social security office and DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can be contacted to request whether a Social Security Card name and driver's license name can be changed by showing the marriage certificate or marriage license. However, if this is not the case, a court order—granted by a court petitioned name change request—might be required and it is important to be prepared for it.
It is also worth noting that in a state such as California, every American citizen living there has the legal right to seek a name change by just using a wholly new name in every area of life in what is known as the Usage Method. Nonetheless, there are a couple of exceptions where government agencies might need a court order as a name change's official proof and thus seeking a court order is the best assurance and legal way of ensuring a name has been changed.
Residents of a state in most cases have to go to the Supreme Court of their respective county for a name change. In a city such as NYC, name change can be done in the Civil Court of New York City. If a person is below the age of 18, a guardian or parent must file a petition on behalf of the minor and the judge must be convinced the name change is in the best interest of the person. It is also important to note that no matter how clear the name change process before the law might be, consulting a lawyer is a good option due to how quickly court procedures, agency rules, fees and laws change.
All required papers
A Birth Certificate and Petition is required in many jurisdictions for a name change to be effected. Once you have acquired the petition (which may be available for download online), complete it and add all the personal information needed. There are places like New York City where you need to add more information if it applies to you, such as whether you have been convicted of any crime before, and you must indicate for what, where and when, and the outcome of the case.
Grounds of application
When it comes to grounds for applying for a name change, indicate clearly what the judge should know for why this is important to you. You have the right to indicate whatever you want the judge to know as the reasons for seeking a name change as far as whatever you are saying is truthful. There is need for a name change announcement to appear in a newspaper, which only a judge can waive or say if it is not important or you do not have to (for a specific reason), such as risk to your life or safety. However, in case of clear reasons why a name change should not be printed in a public newspaper you must indicate them. For instance, hate crimes and domestic violence survivors might be at risk if their personal details were published.
The petition needs to be signed using the legal name you are currently using and notarizing it is very important. For those who might not understand the English language clearly, the individual doing the translation of the Petition needs to sign including having a translation affidavit notarized in many jurisdictions. It is also important to get a birth certificate that has been certified in case one does not own one.
For immigrants who have U.S. status, they have every right to have a name changed, although the details and process varies from one State to another. In such a case, a birth certificate is required and if it is not available immigration documents have to be used. Undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. could change their names but it is very vital to speak with an attorney before commencing the process.
For transgender people, the law does not require them to show any medical evidence as support of seeking a name change and, in most cases, the judge will follow the law correctly, but if he or she does not and deny a trans person the right to change a name, some medical documentation might be required. For such a circumstance, the important thing is talking to a psychologist, social worker or doctor to compose a letter detailing support for the petition to change your name. If for any reason a name change is denied due to lack of medical evidence, legal help can be sought to have the wish granted or medical evidence can be submitted.
Those with criminal convictions also must submit a rap sheet or a disposition certificate for every conviction. These disposition certificate copies can be collected from the specific court where one was convicted. Low income people might not have to pay any fee to collect these documents. It is also very vital to closely look at the rap sheet in case of any mistake and if it shows you have an open arrest warrant you must take care of it before the rap sheet filing in any court. It is perhaps important to speak with an attorney at this juncture for more advice.
It is also vital and helpful to your case if you have extra documentation supporting what you are already saying in the Petition to smoothen the process. For instance, in case you would like your information not to be published due to domestic violence, the Order of Protection you have might really help if you attached a copy with the application. In case paying for the change of name is not possible, bringing a letter showing proof of inability to pay or limited income can really help your plea.
Filling out court forms
To request a court for a name change, different forms need to be filled out, which include Petition for Change of Name plus the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name, Civil Case Cover Sheet and Order to Show Cause for Change of Name. There are courts that require everyone one who wants a name change to fill a local form out to request the name change, such as a form on criminal background. It is vital to ask your lawyer or the local court clerk whether there are local forms to be filled out. For any form you have filled out, keep copies.
A lawyer can help review your forms or you can approach the self-help center or the family law facilitator if available in your State to help you with name change by reviewing the paperwork. This ensures you have filled the forms well before continuing the process. For every form, make at least two copies; the court keeps the original form and you remain with another while the second copy is for publishing in a public newspaper if you have to.
The clerk stamps the forms you brought with "Filed" before keeping the original and returning the other copies of the forms to you. In the Order to Show Cause find details on the court time, department number and date. Filing fee has to be paid and you can always enquire from your lawyer the filing fee required in case you are filing your first petition also known as first papers or first appearance. Those who might not be able to afford the filing fee can request a fee waiver. Those with documents to support their inability to pay the fee claim have an advantage at this juncture.
Order to Show Cause for Change publishing
In many cases, the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name has to be published in a newspaper that is generally circulated and depending on a number of things, for four weeks, once every week. The local court in most cases contains all the newspapers approved for legal notice publishing. Those in State Witness Program seeking a name change or those within the confidentially address program or changing names to avoid stalking, are sexual assault victims or avoiding domestic violence might not need to have the Order to Show Cause published.
Publishing costs vary a lot among different newspapers and the court filing fee waiver does not cover publication cost. Ensure you know the publishing price prior to indicating in the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name the newspaper this will be published in. The form cannot be changed once the judge has signed it.
You can then appear in court on the indicated hearing date, and remember to carry proof showing the Order to Show Cause has been published in an agreed newspaper (if you had to publish). The Decree Changing Name form should also be taken to the judge for signing.
Decree Changing Name collection
Once the judge has approved the name change request, the Decree Changing Name is signed and you can then go to the court clerk for a certified copy. This is required for changing all legal documents including Social Security Card, birth certificate and legal documents, plus other identifications issued by the government such as a driver's license or passport.
Name change on the Social Security Card
Once you have legally changed your name due to a court order, divorce or marriage and other reasons, the Social Security Administration needs to be alerted so that your card can be corrected. To change the Social Security Card required documents need to be shown, including identity proof where U.S. citizenship attestation might be required or non-citizen lawful status. Once the Social Security Card application is filled out and printed, it can be mailed or taken to the local social security office.
Government legal documents
For a new driver's license, you must go to the local department of driver services to apply for a new one. If the name change is the only one you have done in the current period of your license, name change is typically free.
Updating a passport can be done by sending an application securely through the mail plus the fee (if applicable) to the United States Department of State.
To change the name on the Birth Certificate, the Vital Records office need to be contacted within the state you were born.
Once the name has been change in all the legal documents, ensure the name has been corrected with insurance companies, the bank and any other businesses one has interacted with. For such non-governmental entities, a photocopy of your court order will typically be accepted in place of a certified copy.
hi..i have a question..i have a greencard since 1983 by my first husband which I had divorced four years afterwards…I remarried in 2011 in sc..as my return to the states in 2012..i issued a name change on my greencard to my second husbands name..my second husband issued a divorce after the year marriage and now..my ssc and drivers license is still on my first husbands name..and cant change it ..as my marriage license was signed with my maiden name( misspelled too) ssc office cant issue me a renewal of name change on my ssc which I cant get my drivers license either..i do not want under the curcumstances keep my second husbands name..so how can I reset it back to my first husbands name …so all my papers will match again
Hi Brigitte. You can contact USCIS about changing the name on your green card. Form I-90 deals with that. They'll require a you to provide reason and document (e.g., marriage certificate, court order) justifying your name change request. Attempting to revert to a prior name will likely require you go through a court petitioned name change process.
A court order would be sufficient for the USCIS to change the name on your green card. That would then allow you to change your name on other pertinent documents, such as your social security card and driver's license.
Great Article. Thanks for the info, super helpful. Does anyone know where I can find a blank civil case cover sheet form to fill out?
Hi Christian. Here's a general civil cover sheet template I came across that's available for download and print. It's in a fillable PDF format. With that said, it would be better for you to contact your local court about getting such paperwork specific to where you live.
I got to the country with a fiancee visa , i got married , i applied for social security number and i choosed the last name of my husband a week after I received the card , we still didn't start the process for the green card and now I would like to go back and change it to my last name because i want everything to match ( diploma , ect )
Is it possible ?
Hi Nassy. When you say you want everything to match, are you talking about changing your social security card again to return to your old name, or your green to match your SS card's use of your married name?
I married in 2009 in NY and decided to take my husband's last name. However, i never went through the process of changing my name on any of my documents. I renewed my drivers license in my maiden name and i continue to get checks in my maiden name. My passport expired last year in 2015 and i must now renew it. I would really like to keep my maiden name. What can i do to avoid this change? Do we have to get divorced and remarried to make a change to the marriage certificate? Thanks for your advice… To make the situation even more complicated: The reason i have to renew my passport is because i am applying for Italian Citizenship through my father. It would make the process of applying a whole lot easier if my last name was kept as my maiden name.
You don't have to do anything differently. Just continue using your maiden name as you always have. Renew your passport in your maiden name, as well as any future documents. Just ignore the new last name you originally specified on your marriage certificate; it's nonbinding.
I've been wrestling on what to start with on my name change and I was hoping you'd be able so shed some light on my situation.
My husband and I got married in 2015 (in California, my home state) and I opted not to change my name at that time due to an apprenticeship I was currently in. My boss would've put it on hold until my apprenticeship license matched my new married name and I didn't want the word to spread before we had our "official wedding" in 2016. We were under a strict timeline from me finishing the internship so we could immediately move to my husband's home state, Colorado.
Now that we're here, I'm regretting not changing my last name on the marriage papers. Would I have to do the name change through California (where we married) or Colorado (My new state of residence)? Would we still follow the same procedures for a change (background check, publication,etc.)?
Thank you for your insight,
No, just do a regular marriage-based name change using a certified copy of your California marriage certificate. No court, petition, or publication.
my name is shaibu ojochegbe i, have a broblem about my name and i am 19 years of age, i graduated from secondary school these year. My dad told me that he make a misesstake that he for make me bear his name and his name is james, he wanted me to start bear ojochegbe schadrack james and i graduated from secondary school. will that be possible for me to legalistic change my name in that way without having broblem with me? and what about my secondary school ID CARD what will happen to it after that?, and will my name in that ID CARD will change?. thank's.
Hi Shaibu. Once you obtain a court order to change your name, you can present it to your school to have them update your ID card.
but their not updating it in my school, they used to travel before bringing our ID card for us. what of my name on my secondary school certificate will become change or remain valid? and for doing that will it not affect me future?.
Hi Shaibu. What do mean they're not updating it? Have you presented them a court order? Have you solicited from them what specific procedure they require to update your credentials?
no but i'm about to.
Hi Shaibu. You should be good to go once you obtain your court order.
I'm getting a divorce and want to totally change my name to something new. We do have a Name Change Petition in the divorce paperwork but my ex put my maiden name. How can I get that changed? I live in Texas.
Hi Lisa. Have your attorney modify your divorce papers. If you don't have an attorney, request the judge make the change. Name change choices through divorce are typically relegated to a prior name or maiden name. Changing to something entirely new isn't likely to pass.
A couple months ago, i decided to finally change my maiden name bc i got married back in February. But l only changed my name on my ss card. All others have my maiden name. I am now separated and planning to divorce my husband. I want to go back to my maiden name. Plus i was offered a new job. The two forms of id i need to bring is ss card and drivers license but i have different last name. I also use my maiden all the time. What can i do?
Hi Kiwanee. You'd simply explain your situation as you had here. You could provide your employer a copy of your marriage certificate to bridge the two names.
Am I required to publish my name change if I'm transgender and worry about my family seeing it and reacting poorly /general hate crimes? I haven't medically transitioned yet this would be the beginning of the process.
Hi Sam. You can request the judge waive the requirement for safety concerns.
I recently got married and only added my new surname to my marriage certificate. I am Now going through immigration processing and have already filed my papers using my new married surname. I am now learning that when traveling due to the fact that it is my previous maiden name in my passport, i may encounter some problems when re entering the USA as the name on my green card will be my new surname and not my maiden name(hyphenated). I have my interview with uscis soon…is there any way to ask if my maiden name be added to the card. My name currently is first name middle name new last name. I would like it to be first name maiden name new last name.
I also have not gone through the process of getting my social security and drivers license but will soon. Can i just add my maiden name to those documents even though it is not on my marriage certificate? I’m also looking into going back to school…the same isssue is the problem. I would like to have my maiden name on all my document but it is not on my marriage certificate. Would it be a problem when registering for school to have them add my maiden name when registering? Thanks so much.
Unlikely, since it's already been changed.
That would be difficult considering your certificate specifies a new name.
Your school will likely match what's on your social security card.
In all my docs. my name appears as "Ravi s/o Ram Kishan". But now i have to add the surnames and change it to "Ravi Rathaur s/o Ramkishan Rathaur"; also my father's official name is "Ramkishan Rathaur" in all his docs. and IDs proofs. How can i add surnames to both mine and my father's name. I was told i need to get an affidavit then news paper publication and something about gazzette notification.
I need urgent help. Please if you can help me with step by step procedure in detail. What all i need to do. How can i get corrected both name. Please help.
Hi Ravi. Correct, publishing your name in the newspaper is part of the process. You'll have to obtain a court order too. The court lays out the steps of what you'll need to do and for how long.
I have a court order with a legal name change. No marriage or divorce involved. Do I still say i have a maiden name?
Hi Mary. You'll always have a maiden name, which is your birth surname. Obtaining a court order to change your name doesn't change it until you go through the motions of updating your identity documents.
I am planning to get married in couple of months. I want to change my last name. The reason is because I have my biological father's last name, but I do not want my future children to have his last name because he abandoned me at really early age and I was raised by a different man who I called my real father. So before getting married I want to change my last name to my " real father's" last name. Would changing my name in my marriage certificate be enough ? Or do i still have to file a petition request for name change in court? I live in WA state. I am not a citizen, born in different country. Than you for your help.
Specifying your "real father's" name on your marriage certificate wouldn't get it done. You'd have to get a court order.
I have hyphenated last name and would like to drop the first name the hyphen, keeping only the last name. Do I need court order to do that?
Yes, you would.
Hello, will it be possible to change my maiden name (i am using my mom's maiden name and not my last name as my maiden name) that i am using in my green card ?
I applied for a renewal of my Philippines passport and they did not allow me to use the maiden name that I used for my green card and all other US I.D.'s. The embassy states to me that they are following Philippines Law's for married woman in using maiden name.
I am afraid that I will have a problem in the future if i will not change it or apply for court ruling to change my maiden name.
Hi Ann. You'd need to obtain a court order to undergo such a name change.
I requested to have my name changed when I filled for divorce and it was granted, do I have to change it? Or can I not drop my married name if I decide to? In other words is it my choice?
You can choose not to change it. It's up to you.
my son is studying in 5th standard can we change the name in school directly r we hv to go to court and change it.
Hi Anunaya. You'll have to contact the school to determine whether or not they require a court order.
I got my name changed legally in Pennsylvania court order but I was born in New York they won't accept it. Their reasoning is because my birth date is not on court order how do I fix this
Hi Dahnyell. If your missing birth date is an omission on the court's part, contact them for a correction or addendum. Otherwise, contact the office that denied your request for a list of satisfactory supporting identity documents you can use to supplement your court order.
I’m getting married in a few months. I would like to keep my maiden name. If I do, will I still receive his benefits, Gov’t retirement, military benefits, his social security when it is time to retire? Can I collect it using my maiden name? I will also get base privileges and medical.
If I keep my name, what can I sign using his last name?
I want to go by both names but legally mine. I will be getting married either in Virginia or Florida. I am a resident of Virginia and he is a resident of Florida. I will be moving to Florida but not in the near future.
Hi Linda. Your benefits won't be affected by whichever name you change to or choose to keep. You should sign your maiden name as your legal name for all legal purposes. If you want to sign your husband's name during social or informal situations, that's an option.
I have a question.
I recently got divorced and have a court order to change my name but it doesn't have a time frame. How long do I have to complete my name change?
There is no time limit.
i have already gone to the court house and submitted a petition for my name change but i was told there is a "petition to waive the publication" do i obtain that thru the court or can i print it at home?
Hi Asher. The court should provide you the paperwork, although it may be downloadable through their website. Without knowing the state you're petitioning in, not much more detail can be provided.
If my marriage certificate shows my previous last name then new married last name without a hyphen, and I now want a hyphen (because the previous name gets dropped) ~ does that need to be done legally?
Ex: Sue Jones Smith —-> Sue Jones-Smith
I have my DL and some bank accounts like the first example (non-hyphen)(Smith, Sue Jones) but I have not changed my SS or passport (which I know I can use as is until it expires, as long as flight info matches exactly).
However, because the 'middle' name (Jones) gets dropped, I get frustrated by seeing only 'Sue Smith' — because my husband's ex has that name (! – for real!) and because I identify myself as Sue Jones.
I did not know this would happen when I made this choice, so I didn't feel the need for a hyphen. I had 'Jones' for 36 years, and everyone identifies me as Sue Jones….
In general daily life, ordering things or putting my name on things, I will hyphenate, but now I want it to be correct ~
In my health insurance (Dr offices knew me as Sue Jones and sometimes now regard me as only Sue Smith ) and in my Ss card (not currently working, but will in the future). Hyphenating will change the alpha from Smith to Jones-Smith.
There's more to the story, but essentially I don't want Jones dropped. Someone told me to just go to the DL office and have them add the hyphen, which seems simple… but may not be legal.
I want to have this consistent and once and for all.
This varies by state and sometimes by the clerk who handles your case.
Does the SS card and passport use a hyphenated or non-hyphenated space-separated version? Or is it neither, meaning they're still set to your maiden name or some prior name.
Is Jones the real middle name or actually part of the surname, as you cite in your example?
Even though you may be referred to as Jones more often than not, that doesn't have an impact on your legal name.
From the above, you can see I've interlaced my questions with your questions, but let's fast forward.
If you've already changed your name with the SSA because of marriage, you'll need a court order to change it again. Same goes for the DMV.
If you haven't changed your name yet, you might be able to do so using a certified copy of your marriage certificate, but the lack of hyphen on the certificate may be a hindrance. As mentioned at the outset, it varies by state and potentially by clerk.
I want to change my last name to my spouse last name. We got married in Californian but I will be leaving on August 13. What can I do if I can’t present myself to the court l. Help asap
Why would you need to go to court? What's preventing you from using your marriage certificate to change your name?
I got married Oct 28 2017, I've only changed my name on my marriage license & my driver's license, but Everything else is my maiden name including social security card. How can I go back to my maiden name? We aren't going to get divorced it's just a different reason that I want to keep my maiden name. Can I change it on the marriage license or do I have to go to court?
Hi Kristy. You can't change your marriage license or certificate unless there's an error or a judge orders it. In order to change it on your driver's license, you'll likely have to present the DMV with a court order via court petition.
I got divorced about 8 months ago. My now ex-husband some how pushed the divorce thru with out me signing anything or without me speaking with a judge or the courts. In the divorce decree there was no mention of reverting my last name to my maiden name. I didn't really care about the name change due to the fact that I have a young toddler with the last name and issues with my biological father. I now wish to change it to my maiden name due to the man I am seeing having an issue with me keeping the ex's last name. How do I go about changing it and will I have to pay any fees? I live in Southern California. Thank you for any tips or suggestions!
If your divorce was finalized in California, go to that county's court clerk to file the necessary paperwork: ex parte application for restoration of former name after entry of judgment and order. You may have to pay a small filing fee. If you can't pay it, you can ask about waiver options.
If your divorce took place outside of California, then you'll have to contact the court where it was finalized to request an amendment to your divorce decree after the fact. If such a request is rejected, you'll have to file a petition with the superior court for a name change, which would cost you $400+.
i got married in 2013 and i didnt change my last name till this year and as i was changing it i noticed that i put in my name wrong. as an example name is Shelly Marie Ramirez. shelly marie in birth certificate is first name and ramirez as last name. but on marriage certificate i noticed i put shelly first name marie as middle name and ramirez last name. i already called the vital records office and the only way for me to change it is to get a court order name change that would cost me $500. is it necessary for me to correct the name or can i leave it as is since that really is my name its just put wrong there? thank you
You can leave it. At this point, it doesn't make any practical difference.
Hi, My son changed his last name to my family name back in 1998, prior to the law requiring a court order due to the onset of identity theft. His social security and DMV records were updated 20 years ago and he has been using my last name since then without issue. Now the Real ID requires court papers showing the name change. How do we go about getting court papers after the fact?
Hi Linda. It appears they're suggesting he petition a California court.
Hi! How exciting that maybe you can help me. I am a US citizen and was a resident of NYC. I married my husband in 2006 in NYC. I changed my last name to his.
We moved abroad. NY was the last place I lived in the USA. I am a resident of the country I live in currently. I am still married- but want to change my last name back to my maiden name.
The notary in this country told me I need to return to my country to change my name legally. As NY was my last state of residence do I do it there?
Also is it done through the marriage bureau (remarried) or through the courts? Unsure where I start the process.
You'd have to go to court to reverse the name change.
Yes, in NY.
Through the courts.
I recently went to my grandchild's high school graduation in Rhode Island. My grandchild has divorced parents. To our surprise my grandchild graduated with the mothers boyfriends last name…..not the last name the child has been known by since birth .. how can that be allowed by the R.I. Board of education without a legal name change? certificate
Are you certain a legal name change didn't take place? Even so, what a school may do varies. They may have the authority to issue a duplicate diploma that has uses an alias.
Will be getting married in September, we live in NYC. I want to take his last name, but also keep my maiden. i would like to not hyphenate. I would keep first and middle name, and then my maiden and last name. What are my options? thank you
Hi Brenda. I don't believe a space is possible through marriage. You can hyphenate or even combine parts of each's current or prior surname through marriage. Alternative name configurations are possible through the courts.
I changed my maiden name to my married name in my resent immigration interview. I am applying for a passport and was told they cannot issue a passport on the name in my Naturalization certificate. Was planning to change my SsCard and drivers license after getting my passport.
The naturalization ceremony was not at a court, so my name is not legally changed??
I don't know what do do now to get this sorted out.
Hi Wilma. Did you show your marriage certificate? You can change the name on your SS card and driver's license separately from your passport.
I entered US on fiance visa in 1997 and married shortly after in Maryland. After the marriage I took my husbands name and obtained all the US documents in my new name based on my marriage certificate (SSN, drivers license, green card and then passport and so on).
I maintained dual citizenship and 2 passports for over 20 years but in 2 different names. My native country passport is still in my maiden name and it used to have a stamp with my current matrimonial name. Now the rules changed and I am required to change my native passport to my marital name to match my US passport (if I want to travel there).
However, my consulate refuses to accept my Marriage Certificate as a proof of name change because it doesn't state that after the marriage I assume my spouse's name. They want a court order about my name change but I don't have one.
Anyone has suggestions how do I get document about my name change that happened many years ago?
Hi Olga. Would they accept alternative documents that would link your old name to your new name? For instance, your driver's license combined with your marriage certificate? Also, would you mind sharing the other country?
I see that several cases have been won by legal permanent residents in legally being able to change their names however, I do not see anything written in law that can be presented in court as evidence. Where would I find something like that? Surely the Supreme Court must have name change law amended after such rulings?
Hi Marie. Can you clarify what you're referring to? What name change situation are you facing?
I just got married last year. When we were filing for our marriage license/certificate we were told that I could include a last name and then make a decision later on as to how exactly I wanted my name to be presented.
I'd like to have a double- barrelled last name with no hyphen but the SS office just told me that they cannot simply add my spouse's name because the marriage certificate only states one surname.
Do I just have to do a legal adult name change or will they amend the certificate? The idea of getting remarried is a little ridiculous.
If your marriage certificate has a new name after marriage specified, then the SSA will only change to that.
Probably. Which state did the marriage take place in?
Doubtful, as it's not a clerical error. Perhaps you can make the case that you were given incorrect advice and are owed a correction, amendment, and reissue.
Hello, I'm filling out a "Petition for Change of Name", Is it ok that I only put my first and last name on the paperwork, or should I have included my middle name too?
Hi Shelly. You should put your full name.
Hello, in 1993, at naturalization process, I chose to have a name change and I filled a petition for name change. On the petition, my newly chosen name is correct, however my old name was spelled without the middle name. Is there a way to correct my old name on the petition document?
I am in the process of proving dual citizenship in Romania and the full old name now shows a discrepancy.
Hi Nick. You can use Form N-600 to request a new certificate of citizenship. You can attach a letter explaining the error and include proof.
My new-husband's last name is X. My current last name is Y. We signed a Colorado marriage license and certificate with those last names.
Now, I would like to change my last name from "Y" to "Y X" (no hyphen).
Will this require a legal adult name change? Or can I go to the social security office with my marriage certificate and ask for the name change?
Hi Liz. That'll work with SSA, but could be a problem with the DMV.
Does your name change have to published in a newspaper even if you are not in a domestic violence, identity theft, or in a witness protection program, if I simply do not want it published at all is that possible?
What are some other reasons that are acceptable that the court will grant a name change for other than stalking, witness protection, domestic violence? For example if I want to start my own business and not use my married name I would like to use my maiden name?
That's a legitimate reason. The court's looking for a reason not to grant a name change, such as someone trying to evade debt, commit fraud, or harm another person. If you're not engaging in anything nefarious, your request should be approved without much fanfare.
Judge's discretion. You'll have to make the request.
I have a relative , Male , Who is over the age of 21 (whose parents never divorce,just Seperated) But still wants to change from his father's last name to his mother's maiden name., like a divorce action for reason bad represention of father having mental illness and abuse history when the person was a little kid . Will the court grant that reason for legal name change?
Hi Daniel. That's a valid reason the court would accept. They're concerned about attempts to evade debt, commit fraud, or harming others. The reason you cited is none of those things.
As I said for that same person I just mentioned ( the Individual's History) Whose never been to jail . However would volunteer commitment nor would any other commitment be considered part of a crime? Would that count as being convicted that would effect the process? Thanks!
The judge would deny the request if there's suspicion of the applicant trying to pursue a name change for nefarious reasons. The examples you're citing wouldn't be a hindrance.
I have a son who is over the age of 21 years., who has never been convicted of a crime., he's still eligible to vote and be selected for jury duty almost every two years
Those last two aren't important but anyways I as a mother have conservatorship over him and he want to change his name to my maiden name., I approve that. But my question is will the court grant him access to legal name change. Even though I have conservatorship over him. But I still approve it Thanks!!
Hi Susan. Your son should be able to change his name without a problem.
Hello again. I have two questions.
My son is almost done filling out the petition as well as the civil cover sheet. there is just one thing that is for the order for name change page to where to be signed by the judge.
There is probably a signature it said to be filled out by family master now i don't know if that means required by me as parent or it can be signed by my son but the instructions with the petition that was sent to us at least one parent or two must join in the petition.
So my first question is does that family master signature have anything to do with me be included? My second question is I just want to be sure about what you told me about month ago. I don't think whether i have conservatorship over him or not shouldn't effect the process? Especially since he's not felon and I approve his name change.
Can you give me a little confidence or percentage of chance my son goes with legal name change? once the petition is ready to ready to be filed. Thanks!!!
Hi Susan. Court procedures and rules vary by state, so I couldn't tell you specifics without knowing the state. Even without knowing the state, your son shouldn't have a problem getting his name change approved since there's no attempt to commit fraud or evade debts.
Hi I’m in a bit of a tough situation. I suffered from childhood abuse and am changing my first and last name to take control of my life. Just a few problems. I cannot have my family know of my new name and the city clerk is my cousin. I know I can appeal to the judge to not have the change posted in the paper but what about the fact that I can’t have the clerk know either.
I also don’t have a permanent address anywhere. I’m technically a resident of Connecticut and can use a friends address if need be but I don’t think that’s legal. The address on my license is my parents and can absolutely not use that one. Any advice?
Hi Theodora. First, is there another court you can go to? Two, consider contacting the judge or their clerk directly. Explain the situation to them. Some will list their office phone numbers directly instead of having everything routed through the global court clerk.
I got married and in my marriage certificate I put that I would like to change my last name to my spouse’s. I never went through with changing it with SSA, DMV, IRS, nothing like that and have continued to use my maiden name the entire time.
I am now in the middle of getting divorced. Do I have to restore my maiden name in the divorce paperwork or anything like that even if I never legally changed it in any documents or is it okay to leave as is and continue using my maiden name?
Will this affect me in any way if I have a 2nd marriage and want to change my name again? Thank you.
No, as there's nothing to restore. Even if the instruction appeared, it would be harmless. You can still request if you prefer to have it appear anyway. It doesn't mean the judge would approve it, as it could be seen as unnecessary and invalid.
No, it would have no affect.
So when my husband and I got married back in 2008 in California, I didn’t change my surname at the time. But now that we have been married for 13 years, have 3 kids (with his last name) and with him being in the military it would be so much easier to finally change my last name. Do I have to do the “petition to change my name” process?
Hi Stephanie. You can change without petitioning, as the California Name Equality Act of 2007 didn't take effect until January 1, 2009.
Do i need to petition to change my name if I want to add a middle name legally if I was not given one at birth but I just got married and will be changing my last name to my husbands. Can i just fill out the paperwork with my intended middle name when I fill the paperwork out to change my last name. I live in colorado and was married in colorado
Hi Callie. Adding a new middle name wouldn't work through marriage. You would have to petition the court. If you know you're going to court, you can kill two birds with one stand and have you full name changed through the petition. The alternative is doubling up and changing your surname through marriage and updating your middle through the court system.
Hello, I have just received notice of my judge approved name change, but I have since changed my mind about the name. Will I still have to go through with the name change? Additionally, are there any steps I have to take in order to void the name change?
No, you don't have to follow through with your court approved name change.
You can just ignore it. No need to void anything.
I just got married and my husband doesn’t want to carry on his name and I want to change my name to my stepfathers would this be the best way to go about it ?
Hi Monica. Yes, filing separate court petitions would be best and necessary.