Many people might think that the name change process is too difficult to undertake alone. Fortunately, this process is actually much simpler than you might think! Here is a quick, easy guide on how to change your name through marriage, the courts system, and during a divorce hearing in the state of Wyoming.
Changing your name through marriage
You must first apply for marriage license with any county clerk in the state. Either you or your partner may choose to apply. The fee is $30. Provide the clerk with your names, social security numbers, addresses, and ages.
It is a good idea to bring your social security card and a valid photo ID just in case. You must also bring one competent witness with you so that they may testify this information is true to the clerk.
You have up to one year after the issuance date to set your marriage ceremony date and use the marriage license. You must have at least two witnesses at your ceremony to watch as you and your partner declare yourselves to be legally married in front of the person solemnizing your marriage.
Once this is done, the person solemnizing your marriage will hand you your marriage certificate written under their own hand. The certificate must contain the time and place the wedding ceremony was conducted. The two witnesses must also sign your marriage certificate with their names, ages, and addresses.
A note on same-sex marriages
Though Wyoming statutes claim that marriage is defined as being between a male and female, same-sex marriage has been legal in all 50 states since 2015. At best, this is simple negligence on the Wyoming lawmakers' part.
Rest assured that you and your partner are legally allowed to be married in the state of Wyoming, regardless of gender. Should any county clerk refuse to issue you and your partner a marriage license, you may apply to the district court of the same county for an issuance of your marriage license.
So long as you and your partner can prove that you are both over the age of 18 and present the other information you need to apply for a marriage license within the state, the judge should order the marriage license to be issued to you by the county clerk. No extra fees or court costs will be charged for this order.
Changing your name after the ceremony
The marriage certificate is what you and your partner must use to change your names after marriage. It serves as proof of marriage and verification of a legal name change event.
The marriage license application will have a spot for your maiden name and current name, but not your new name. Don't fret. This isn't an omission that'll prevent your future name change. When it comes time to update federal and state agencies, they'll derive your new name from you and your spouse's current names, as shown on your marriage certificate.
Typically, couples will change their last names, middle names, or both.
You may decide to assume your partner's name, or vice versa. You may also decide to hyphenate your last names together in whatever order you choose.
You can adopt your old last name as your new middle name to keep a part of your heritage. You might also decide to hyphenate your middle name with your old last name if you want to change your last name in marriage, too.
Changing your name through the courts
You will have to first petition the district court in the county you live in for a name change. You must first fill out an affidavit that sets forth your full legal name, your new name, a concise statement disclosing the reason why you wish to change your name, your current address, and the length of time you have been a resident of the county. You must have lived within the county for at least two years prior to this name change request.
Both adults and minors may change their name provided they follow the stipulations listed above. In the case of a minor name change, both parents must be informed of the name change and must agree to the name change.
If one parent does not agree to the name change, then a hearing date will be set to hear the non-filing parent's reason as to why they do not agree to the change.
If the court is satisfied that you are not changing your name for any fraudulent or harmful purposes, they will then set a court hearing date and time for you to attend. The filing fee will cost anywhere between $70 and $100.
Publication of notice
You must publish a notice of your intent to change your name in a local newspaper. This requirement may be waivered if you are a victim of domestic abuse or you otherwise believe that your safety would be put at-risk with this publication.
In order to have this waivered, you must file a separate motion alongside your petition, and you may have to provide proof during your hearing of said domestic abuse or that your safety would be in danger.
Unless someone objects to your name change, the judge will usually sign the order after hearing your own testimony of why you want to change your name. Use this order to change your name on all important documents thereafter (e.g., social security card, driver's license, passport, etc).
Changing your name during a divorce hearing
If either you, your partner, or the both of you wish to change your names after a divorce, you may request the judge to restore you the right to do so during the hearing itself. You may only change your name back to a birth name or any other formerly-held name at this time.
The judge will then add this request to the final decree, which you can use to change your name on all important documents (e.g., social security card, driver's license, and so forth).