132 Comments

Name change is a legal process where a person adopts a new name distinct from their name of adoption, marriage or birth. Depending on the jurisdiction, the ease and procedures of name change really vary. Across the United States, changing names is regulated by State laws. If you're not changing your name as a result of marriage, or your name change preference (marriage or not) isn't allowed, you'll have to undergo a court petitioned name change which will involve publishing your name change in the newspaper.

Normally, anyone can adopt the name they desire. In fact, by 2009, about 46 states had allowed people to change their names just by usage without any paperwork done. This is referred to as a common law name change. While this sounds like a great option, in reality, it isn't a truly practical way to go about "officially" changing one's name. A court order might be needed for any institution such as the government's or banks. There are also states allowing transgender people to effect name changes either after or prior to a sex reassignment kind of surgery.

While all the states except Louisiana follow the common law, the requirements acceptable are a little different. However, the most efficient way of getting your name changed is through a court order applied in a state court beyond marriage where name change is accepted universally.

Right reason for name change

At the same time, anyone seeking a name change must plead the reason is not fraudulent in nature or for any illegal reason, like defaming another, evading debt or lien among others. After giving a good explanation on why you want a name change, you will have to pay a fee before posting a legal notice in distinct newspapers announcing what you have done or about to. Unless the name change is for an immoral, frivolous or fraudulent purpose, the judge cannot deny it.

Publishing a legal notice on newspapers

The main reason why the law requires anyone who wants to change his or her name to publish it in a newspaper is simply to make it a public record. People whom you might have legitimate and legal responsibilities have to know, their right under the law, when you have changed your name. Otherwise, anyone can decide to change his or her name to avoid debts, commit fraud or defame others. Publishing in newspapers is an acceptable way, the only legally accepted one, of providing or giving notice and has to be done.

Essentially, the law requires that the court hearing date and your request for a name change to be published in a newspaper to give all kinds of people the chance to know what you are doing and perhaps object if there is cause to do so. In most cases, no one really objects but the law has to be followed and getting a court order to effect your name change will not be done unless it has been completed.

Exceptions to publishing name change publicly

It is also worth indicating there are exceptions where you might not have to publish a notice in newspapers for a number of reasons. You do not need to publish if you are doing so for the sole purpose of conforming to your own sex or gender identity. Also, you will not be allowed to publish if you are already in the address confidentiality program, state witness program, seeking name change to avoid stalkers or domestic violence or if you are a sexual assault victim or requesting changing of names on behalf of a sexual assault victim. Nonetheless, in case of any of these reasons you have to explain it in the court provided forms, mostly an attachment to petition of name changes.

Publishing the name change notice

Once the name change request has been granted, you must put up a notice indicating so in a newspaper that the court has chosen. In the signed order, it is clearly indicated that you have been given 60 days from the time the order is given to take out an advert in a newspaper referred to as a "publication", which is an advert giving notice you have changed your name legally. In most cases, the order indicates the newspapers or newspaper name where the notice must appear, the content of the notice and the number of times it has to be published.

Contacting the newspaper

You can contact the local newspaper via the phone book or Internet, which has to be a newspaper that distributes where you live. Call the newspaper and indicate you want to take out an advertisement of a personal nature in the newspaper's announcements section and indicate both the new name and old name in the announcement while making it as clear as day your name has been changed. Certain states require an address be listed with the announcement. Your ad will typically be positioned in the "legal notices" section of the classifieds ads.

The payment can be made using a credit card online or over the phone or any other means the newspaper might allow you. While low income individuals can get fee waivers and might not be required to pay any filing fee in name change petitions, publishing the name change in a newspaper distributed locally does not attract any fee waiver. Newspapers also charge personal advertisements differently and you might have to shop around for the most affordable in a newspaper the court accepts.

You must take the order copy to the indicated newspaper as soon as you can for the notice to be published forthwith. You have the responsibility of paying the fee for the publishing and a publication affidavit is given once you are done. This is then brought back to the office of the Clerk so that it can be filed within three months or 90 days of the date appearing on the order that has been signed. After publication affidavit has been filed, you can consider the name change process a success and complete, meaning you can start using it.

It is the signed order that you have to use to change all the legal documents you own, from the social security card, birth certificate and other identifications issued by the government such as driver's license or passport. The order in certified copies can be taken from the office of the clerk after the filing of the publication affidavit and you need to have a certified copy with you, just in case.

It is also worth noting there are courts in certain jurisdictions that only require a different kind of announcement rather than a newspaper advert, such as posting some kind of a flyer on a specific bulletin board in your city or town.

132 Comments

  1. Anthony peter

    I change my name early this year and due to bill for advertising I've not yet done it. Please will dey be any problem on when I have Money to so?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Are you saying you've had your name published in the newspaper, yet haven't paid the bill? If so, that's something you'll have to contact the court about; to determine if it will hinder your name change from completing.

      Reply
  2. Mary

    I have to establish a name for my home daycare, I'm advised to publish the business name in newspaper does it cost?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mary. Yes, newspaper publications do cost. You'll have to contact them about fees.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Artem. When going through a court ordered name change you'll have to provide proof that your name was published in the time span the court specified. If not, there may be a delay. You'll have to contact the court for what to do, such as getting an extension.

      Reply
  3. Sophie

    I am already married, traditional and church wedding and I hv both d certificate. How can I use them to change my name and publish it cuz I need d newspaper publication to change my BVN.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sophie. If you're looking to undergo a marriage-related name change, you don't need to publish your name change intention in a newspaper. That's just for court petitioned name changes.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi John. That depends on how sophisticated the newspaper's operation is. You'll have to contact them to inquire.

      Reply
  4. John Doe

    Hello, I was wondering as a transgender male, if I can request it not to be published in the newspaper?

    My main reason to not have it published is for my own safety, as I live in a unsafe town/neighborhood.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My main reason to not have it published is for my own safety, as I live in a unsafe town/neighborhood.

      It is possible the for the court to dismiss the need to publish your name if you explain your concerns. The court petitioned name change article briefly touches on this in the "order to show cause" section.

      Reply
  5. Aurelie B

    I applied for my citizenship and under a section, it was asked if I wanted to change my legal name, I said yes and put my desired name. I got naturalized and received the certificate of naturalization in addition to a court document approving my name change,
    I have since did my U.S. passport in addition to updated my social security information.
    But I have not published anything in the newspapers, or taken any other steps.
    Nobody told me at the naturalization ceremony of the next steps I have to take.
    So can someone advise me on what to do next?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      But I have not published anything in the newspapers, or taken any other steps.

      That's only for court-petitioned name changes, which yours is not.

      Reply
  6. Widow

    If my spouse has passed away, will I need to publish my intent to revert to my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi. Typically, any court petitioned name change would require publication, but you can request that it be waived. It's not guaranteed that it will be, but you can certainly request it.

      Reply
  7. Dharmesh

    There is some confusion I see, I am doing this for my son's name change

    for this 1. If both parents(biological) agree for name change – than court don't need any newspaper publication, otherwise they gives you date of court appearance 6-8 weeks after first you give application and within that you need to take court notice to publication and asked them to publish(may be 2-3 weeks per local requirement). once newspaper gives you certificate you take it along with to court's date and judge will ask reasons for change

    2. For adults its mandatory to publish, to let others know that you are not doing to avoid any debt or other financial/criminal reasons

    As far as cost is concerned, you can ask for fee waiver and publication help if you can prove your income source qualifies for it. Just not willing to pay will not make it, your income should support that you don't earn enough to spend

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dharmesh. Publication standards vary from state to state, and can also vary between courts. Generally, your understanding of the process is solid. Some courts allow publication to be dismissed for domestic violence victims. Some courts have fee waivers, some don't.

      Reply
  8. Krystallos liggs

    What is the local number to some DE newspapers? Also, can I change my first name when I get married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is the local number to some DE newspapers?

      Here's a list of Delaware newspapers, but you'll want to get clearance from the court to determine if they're acceptable. You should be able to find phone numbers on their websites.

      Also, can I change my first name when I get married?

      No, you'll have to petition the court for that.

      Reply
  9. Funbi

    Please my bank closed my account due to the disruption in my names and I operate two bank acct Skye and stanbic but in the Skye bank account my surname is Ogundare while on stanbic my surname is oluwadare and its also the name I used for my bvn and I'm having money in my Skye acvoun and was told by stanbic to go get a court affidavit for them to get it dome for me .please I'm asking hope I don't need to do newspaper publication?

    Reply
    1. Funbi

      I did my bvn at stanbic account .I need a clarification on this people.. Awaits your response soon

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Hi Funbi. Your bank closure due to a name mismatch isn't related to having to publish your name in a newspaper. It's a bank-client matter that you'll have to resolve with them.

      Reply
  10. Madison

    I'm a little lost with this process and have no one to help me. Do you have to go to the hearing first verdure publishing this? Or is it after you get the time and date?
    I'm even confused on how I will explain this in court. I'm trying to change my first and middle. Mostly to escape stalkers, my ex husband, and kind of like to restart my life after some traumatic events. Can I get any advice on a good way to word this in court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do you have to go to the hearing first verdure publishing this? Or is it after you get the time and date?

      Hearing first.

      Can I get any advice on a good way to word this in court?

      How you just explained it is perfectly fine. You can state that you're looking to achieve greater privacy and security from a prior spouse/relationship.

      You can also request the judge waive the requirement that you publish your name change in a newspaper if you're concerned about such visibility endangering your safety.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Titus. You'll have to contact the newspaper directly for pricing. If you're going through the courts to do it, you can inquire if they can provide a list of approved publishers.

      Reply
  11. Taco Man

    Hi I turned 18 a couple months ago and I would like to change my first name. Do I have to have it published on newspaper? I don't want it to be published because I don't like bring attention to myself and I want to do it for my safety. I don't have any debts or any legal problems so can that help me from getting it published?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Taco. Persons who are registered with their state's address confidentiality program (not all states have set this up) are not required to publish their name. But that's only for victims of domestic abuse and stalking. If you're just looking to guard your privacy, you'll have to request a waiver from the judge. There's no guarantee it'll be granted though.

      When you make your application for a name change you can ask the court clerk what the likelihood of getting a waiver may be prior to you paying the court fees.

      Reply
  12. Ikeriugwo Akuyoma Agnes

    Hi, my name is Agnes and I am unmarried. I want to change my name cos I am no longer attached to it. I just wanna know how many times one can have their names changed, cos my sister who works in a bank says it can only be done once, considering the fact that I am unmarried. How true is it that if I get married in a couple of years, I will not be able to change my name again if I do it now?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ikeriugwo. There is no limit to how many times you can change your name. Perhaps your sister was suggesting the limit was one because that is the limit per name change event. For instance, if you were to marry, you can change your name using your marriage certificate once. Trying to change it again using the same certificate wouldn't work. If you were to get a court order you could change it a second time, but not again using the same court order.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tibishi. It varies per newspaper. Some will cost you $20, while others can go up to $200. You'll have to look up their rate card. Most newspapers display such prices on their website, or you can call them directly for pricing.

      Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Tibishi. You'd have to contact the newspaper directly for rates.

          Reply
  13. alpha

    My daughter just turned18 and wants to change her name so it will be on her diploma when she graduates in 4-5 weeks how can I word that on the waiver to publish

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alpha. You needn't give that detailed a reason. At a minimum just word it that this person is opting to undergo a name change, and that's it. You don't have to detail why.

      Reply
  14. Keely Ellingson

    I got married and changed my name, just after divorce I went back to my maiden name, I now want to go back to my married name although I am not getting remarried. Can I still use my original marriage license and/or divorce decree or do I need a separate court order and publication now?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Keely. If you've officially changed your name back to your maiden, you'll have to get a court order to do it again.

      Reply
  15. Christine Lewis-nelson

    What is the number for my local newspaper if I live in lake county Indiana and I need to publish a name change for my child that is a minor? How much does it cost

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is the number for my local newspaper if I live in lake county Indiana

      If you're referring to the Times of Northwest Indiana, their website lists their phone directory.

      Reply
  16. TP

    My wife is looking to chnge her last name after we got married and add an english middle name. Does she still need to publish her birth date etc in a newspaper? State is NY.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My wife is looking to chnge her last name after we got married and add an english middle name.

      If you're saying she wants to add a brand new middle name, that's not possible without a court order.

      Does she still need to publish her birth date etc in a newspaper?

      Not for a marriage name change, but if she's looking to change her name to an entirely new middle name that's not derived from anything, then that's not possible without going to court.

      Reply
  17. Michelle

    I have newborn twins and I want to change there names do I have to wait until they turn 1 year? And will I be allowed to change there names just because I want different names? How can I word that to the judge?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. You don't have to wait. Just tell the judge the truth: you prefer a different name.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ability. You'll have to do that directly with your bank. You'll have to present a document that justifies the name change, such as a marriage record, divorce decree, or court order.

      Reply
  18. Mel

    Do you have to stay in same county for long time after you put in for name change or can you move?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mel. Unless the county court that's handling your name change has a residency jurisdiction stipulation, I don't see what would be holding you there.

      Reply
  19. Maria

    Do I really have to publish my name change in a newspaper? And with *address*? I think that will lure in more stalkers lol. But, really. Can I just pay extra money for them not to publish my name? I don't just anyone to know that I changed my name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maria. You can request the court waive the requirement if you can demonstrate good cause. If you're concerned about stalkers and disclosure of your address, you may want to find out if your state has an active address confidentiality program.

      Reply
  20. Coffee bean

    I recently turned 18.I want to change my name due for privacy & to avoid a person who sexually assaulted me in the past. Would it be necessary to tell the court who the person is? I don't really like talking about it but it is a reason why I want to change my name. I'm also concerned about having to publish a notice in the newspaper,I've read that it says details about the hearing & wondered if I could avoid that.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Coffee. Accommodations are typically made for victims of sexual assault. The court can provide further information. You can inquire about a closed hearing or chambers hearing, and waiving of the newspaper requirement.

      Reply
  21. Adeola

    pls change of surname on primary data of account does it require news publication after court Avidavict

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Adeola. The change of name on your primary identification comes after you've been granted a court order finalizing your name change request.

      Reply
  22. Karen

    Do I still need to publish the hearing and final judgement in the State of New Jersey if my daughter's father died five months after my daughter was born? He had no legality in the country and I don't have any relations to any of his family which I don't know where they are. No one has ever formed part of my daughter's life other than me and my parents. Also, in 2009 I was a victim of a sexual assault and after the person was released from prision (five years later) I began to receive threatening calls. Although, it is for my daughter, I would prefer for her name and mine to be omitted from any newspaper. I am still having a difficult time removing my name from the social media and address as I used to have a company and went all over the place and after the frightening calls I tried to remove. Is there a way to avoid the publication given my two statements?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a way to avoid the publication given my two statements?

      You can ask the court to waive this requirement.

      Reply
  23. Temi E

    Hi,please,I need your help.I was born in Nigeria,and then I changed my name.Now,I live in the US and my husband is petitioning for me,but my name on my passport and visa and i-94 is different from my marriage license and other document.Can I get a court order here in the US for change of name.Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Temi. You, as a non-citizen, may be able to change your name in the U.S. if you've lived here for at least six months, but even that varies from state to state. You should contact the courthouse for further clarity.

      Reply
  24. Mechelle Rechkemmer

    What if u have obtained ur last name for 30+years have a CDL for over 30 yrs a SS card and tax records Banks etc but ur name was never legally changed back in 1960 .but have gone by this name ur entire life . Is there common law or something?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mechelle. Are you saying you did update your name on your SS card? If so, what institution did you not change your name with?

      Reply
  25. Mark

    Hi can i change my name and my surname both? Because my parents are not married and my father is marriedto other women

    Reply
    1. Mark

      In my nso im using my fathers name but they are not married so i want to change my surname to my mothers name and i want to change also my name.thanks

      Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Mark. Petition just means to file your request with the court. It'll last until your name change order is granted by the judge.

          Reply
  26. Wildur

    Hi , my birth certificate has one last name but from the time I started school I've used a different last name drivers license ss card taxes credit everything.the person on the birth certificate doesent exsite .can I get some kind of waiver

    Reply
  27. Joseph

    Hello! I have Sada Joseph oghenemaro registered to my bank Acc name, Now I did a new national identity card with some changes. Now it’s Okpaka-Sada Joseph marho, in this case how can I go about changing it in a newspaper publication?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joseph. Phone or email the classified ads section of your newspaper of choice. Make sure your selection is permitted by the court.

      Reply
  28. Nicole

    Very confused. If I got married and reside in Maryland…I have to publish my last name change in order for the court to approve my name change petition?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nicole. You can request the court waive the newspaper publication requirement for good cause.

      Reply
  29. Mathew

    Hi.

    I have been using two names ever since my childhood days including schooling to the secondary level and now that I'm about to get to the Tertiary level, I need to add a third name because it's a MUST. So do I need to publish an "add of name" as I may call it or I need only to swear an affidavit?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mathew. Legally adding another name would require you to petition the court. You'll have to both publish the name and submit a publication affidavit.

      Reply
  30. Tanya Hagerman

    Hello I'm changing my son's last name I qualify for a fee waiver but can't afford the publication part .can I ask the judge if I can do a posting in the court house or on Facebook or what would be the best and way to do a Posting .im in California

    Reply
  31. Amansa

    I got married in a November but on my marriage license never indicated a name change to my married name because at the time I wasn’t planning on changing it. Now my husband and I have decided, for certain reasons, that we want to change my name. I have successfully changed my name on my SS card as well as thorough most of my other financial institions, but the DMV refuses to change my name on my drivers license because i didn’t indicate it on my marriage license, even though the SS office has already accepted the new name. Besides court order is there any other way to get my name changed so the DMV will accept it and change my name? I live in CA and I’ve thought about seeing if the County Clerks office will amend it to read “AKA” with my married name. Is there any other way to get around it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Besides court order is there any other way to get my name changed so the DMV will accept it and change my name?

      Not unless you can get your certificate amended.

      I live in CA and I’ve thought about seeing if the County Clerks office will amend it to read “AKA” with my married name.

      That wouldn't be allowed.

      Is there any other way to get around it?

      No, your remaining viable path would be through the courts.

      Reply
  32. Steve

    I changed my name 37 years ago and my CDL, SS have my new name! do I still have to put an ad in paper?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Steve. If you've already changed your name on your identity documents, then the newspaper portion is irrelevant.

      Reply
  33. Oyeku Olawunmi

    Hello, I got married in 2006 and changed my maiden name to my Spouse's name immediately in Court, obtaining affidavit then. How do I get it published in your newspaper and at what cost.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Oyeku. If you got married through a civil ceremony at the courthouse, then you don't need to publish your name in the newspaper. You could change your name with your marriage certificate.

      If I'm misinterpreting your situation and you really did change your name through the court, then you still don't need to publish, as you've already got your court order. The newspaper portion comes before you're granted a court order.

      Reply
  34. dee

    My tee., I got married through Islamic way and collected married certificate in Arabic, and I went to court to do changing of name to bear my husband name wish was done. Can I still go to newspaper for publication?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dee. You may not even need to go to court. Your marriage certificate may be sufficient to complete your name change. However, you may be asked to provide a certified translation.

      If you do have to go the newspaper publication and court petition route, your marriage certificate wouldn't be particularly relevant.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kiran. If you're trying to prove to the court that you published your intent to change your name in the newspaper, then you're better off showing the entire newspaper.

      Reply
      1. kiran

        No, the individual has lost her marriage certificate so if needed to prove her name change can we use the newspaper clipping as a legal name change?
        thanks

        Reply
        1. Valera

          No, the individual has lost her marriage certificate so if needed to prove her name change can we use the newspaper clipping as a legal name change?

          No, that wouldn't suffice. Publishing a name change through the newspaper is unnecessary if the name can be changed using a marriage certificate. Publications are typically for court-petitioned name changes.

          Reply
  35. Kimberly Matney

    I am needing to post about a divorce. I cannot find my ex husband and I was told if I could post it in the newspaper for 3 weeks or so, and if nothing came of it then we could proceed with the process. Who do I contact??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kimberly. Contact the classifieds department of the newspaper about placements.

      Reply
  36. Ejiro blessing

    I need my change of name sometime January or February 2016 and I lost the newspaper how do i get it back,the problem is I can remember the date,i need a reply fast pls

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ejiro. I'm not sure what you're asking. You're referencing January and February of two years past. Are you trying to locate a newspaper clipping containing your name change classified? Please clarify.

      Reply
  37. Gabriel

    please how much will it cost me to publish my new name on a newspaper?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gabriel. You'll have to contact the newspaper publisher directly for their rates.

      Reply
  38. Austin

    Am having different name in my two accounts.peter ogun in the first bank account and Austin Peter in my syke bank account.
    I was told to bring a newspaper publication to be able to link my two account.
    Where will I get the publication from.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Austin. Intention of name change publications are handled by the advertising/classifieds department of a given newspaper.

      Reply
      1. Austin

        Thank you very much for immediate reply I stay in Abuja how can I get to the Advertising/classified department in Abuja.

        Can the process be done online.

        Reply
  39. Bob

    I wonder if publishing a name change in the newspaper will show up in online searches. I want to change my name so that someone searching me online doesn't see that I've changed my name; I just have a new identity. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I wonder if publishing a name change in the newspaper will show up in online searches.

      If the newspapers classifieds are online, it will show up. It may also be swept up in various newspaper digitization services.

      Reply
  40. Ligia Garcia

    How long would it take if you publish your name in the newpaper

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How long would it take if you publish your name in the newpaper

      Turnaround time varies by newspaper. It could be as little as 24 hours, depending on the paper.

      Reply
  41. Rosemary

    My sister did her change of name on 20th November, 2018 and they ask to check on 23 November, 2018 and she could not found her what will she do and she is so much in need of it now

    Reply
    1. Rosemary

      My sister did her change of name on 20th November, 2017 and they ask to check on 23 November, 2017 and she could not found her what will she do and she is so much in need of it now
      Please error it was 2017 not 2017

      Reply
      1. Valera

        Hi Rosemary. Where did your sister do her name change with? SSA, DMV, the court, or are you referring to a newspaper publication? And how was the name change performed? In person or by mail?

        Reply
  42. Ukachi

    Hi, just got married and wants to do a change of my last name. I live in North Indianapolis. How can I get the address or phone numbers of the local newspaper? Again do I need to do the court hearing first before the publication.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How can I get the address or phone numbers of the local newspaper?

      Here's a list of Indiana newspapers that you can contact.

      Again do I need to do the court hearing first before the publication.

      Yes, you'll need a court to grant your name change request beforehand.

      Reply
  43. Wisdom O

    I want a change of name. which one is to be done first, with the court or with newspaper. Again which newspapers and courts can do the change of name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      which one is to be done first, with the court or with newspaper.

      You'll have to go to court before you do the publication.

      Again which newspapers and courts can do the change of name.

      The type of court varies by state, so I can't give you specifics without your state of residence.

      Which newspaper is acceptable also varies. The court may provide you an acceptable list or you may have to locate your own that fulfills the court's requirements.

      Reply
  44. Tru Medium

    Hello. I'm a musician that performs in public regularly. I advertise my shows every day giving times and locations. I am afraid of stalkers so I want to make my legal name more generic. Can I request my name change to be seal to avoid stalkers? I am also simply dropping my first name and using my middle and last name so it is not a major change.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I request my name change to be seal to avoid stalkers?

      That's up to the judge. Before initiating the name change paperwork, you can pose this question to the court clerk as to the likelihood of the judge granting such a request.

      Reply
  45. Martha

    On a minor name change is it still necessary to publish in the newspaper if both parents are in agreement with the name change?….eventhough one parent has full custody of the minor?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Martha. Publication is just a standard step, but it can be waived by the judge.

      Reply
  46. Ruvi Wakwella

    I don't have my surname after my name how am I supposed to add it and I don't have documents which my full name in it. What can I do please advise

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I don't have my surname after my name…

      What are you referring to here? Are you trying to change your name in court?

      Reply
  47. StarMonkey

    What is considered a frivolous reason for a name change? Can you change your name just because your name is hard for many understand of write down?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is considered a frivolous reason for a name change?

      That's up to the judge. A name change that's considered unserious or brought in bad faith may be considered frivolous.

      Can you change your name just because your name is hard for many understand of write down?

      Sure, that shouldn't be considered frivolous.

      Reply
  48. Rose

    I wish to change my name. I am an adult… I don't want my name change to sound like I'm doing it for no reason at all. Is saying it's because of a poisonous family history and preventing my abusive father from finding me the best way of summarizing it? Would the court accept that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would the court accept that?

      I see no reason why the court would reject your request.

      Reply
  49. cat

    my boyfriend is transgender and would like to change his name legally, but he doesnt want to go through with it becauseof the newspaper thing. hes very shy and has severe anxiety and doesnt want it publicized. currently he lives in indiana, but i was wondering if there was a way to avoid the newspaper mess? i want him to feel comfortable in his own skin, and it starts with him having the right name. any answer would be appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      but i was wondering if there was a way to avoid the newspaper mess?

      There may be away to sidestep the newspaper requirement by asking the judge to waive it. Your boyfriend could explain the situation and how publication would feel threatening. It's worth calling the court clerk and asking about their judges' typical waiver thresholds.

      Reply
  50. Cinnamon Fleener

    I filed my name change request and have a court date, I also had the local paper print the proper notification. I need to postpone the change for a few months, first can I just do a postponement, or continuance? And can I use the same newspaper posting when I do go ahead? Or do I have to dismiss the request and start from scratch?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cinnamon. This is entirely up to the court. Keep in mind, if you complete your court proceedings and receive your court order, you're not required to change your identity documents immediately. You can take your time afterward.

      Reply
  51. Dario

    What happens if I never publish my name change? Does it pretty much cancel the process and you keep your original name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What happens if I never publish my name change?

      If publication is one of the requirements in your jurisdiction, then the court ultimately wouldn't issue you a court order for your name change.

      Reply
      1. Dario

        What happens if you never post your name change in the newspaper. Does the the name change get revoked?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Dario. As previously answered above, it's not that your name change will be revoked, but your case will be incomplete. It's up to you to fulfill certain requirements to receive your name change via court order. If name publication is one of the requirements that you do not complete, the judge can't sign off on the name change.

          If there's a reason you don't want your name change published, such as concerns over your privacy, safety, or lack of funds, you can request a waiver from the judge. Waiver's are not guaranteed, but you can inquire.

          Reply
  52. Charlie

    I'm 16 I wanna change my name my parents agreed with changing my full name. I have the money. But I'm scared that the judge won't approve my name change because I'm not 18 yet. Even though my reason is legitimate I'm converting to Judaism and I don't like my name. And do children need to publish there name change in the newspaper. Any answer would be great!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      But I'm scared that the judge won't approve my name change because I'm not 18 yet.

      That's unlikely to occur.

      And do children need to publish there name change in the newspaper. Any answer would be great!

      Typically, yes, but you can request a waiver.

      Reply
  53. angela

    what do you do if you change your mind?

    If you just do nothing after the court date and never post your name change are you free to go?

    is there anything else you need to do if you change your mind?

    i had the court date already they said yes. i didn't do anything else so far no publication or anything else

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If you just do nothing after the court date and never post your name change are you free to go?

      Yes.

      is there anything else you need to do if you change your mind?

      No.

      i had the court date already they said yes. i didn't do anything else so far no publication or anything else

      If you don't do your part to finish your name change, the court isn't going to nudge you.

      Reply
  54. Ma. Theresa dela Riva

    What newspaper wherein I can publish the memorial lot of my father from Evergreen, San Pascual, Batangas?

    Reply

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