Can I Change My Name Legally Online?

Change of name decisions are made for various reasons; common ones being marriage, divorce and becoming a United States citizen.

Name changes require filing a petition with the court and publishing notice in a newspaper. You may petition to have the publication requirement waived if your change is for safety purposes or due to domestic violence, however this cannot be guaranteed by a judge.

How do I change my name?

When changing your name, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind. Your legal name refers to what appears on official documents such as birth certificates and passports – this differs from your most frequently used moniker which could be anything that feels natural for you. Your legal name could change to match this or due to changes in relationship status like marriage or divorce.

Legally changing your name requires filing documents with the court in your jurisdiction and paying any applicable filing fees and filing fees, then appearing before a judge for approval of the change. Some states also require publication notice and fingerprinting as part of this process – please check with your local court clerk to find out what these requirements are in your region.

Marriage or divorce are often the catalysts behind changing one’s name; after entering into either contract you should present your marriage certificate before getting new passport and social security cards with your new legal name. Naturalization also presents opportunities to alter one’s name if needed.

Many government agencies and businesses require you to show them your legal name change court order before changing it with them, due to security concerns over identity theft and fraud. Be understanding, but if they still resist, remind them that it’s your right to change it and provide them with a copy of the court order as proof.

There may also be other cases in which you require court approval to change your name. One is when changing the name of a minor child; in such a situation, both parents or guardians must sign a notarized consent form that allows this change. Another scenario would be changing it to avoid liability or criminal records – in this instance you will need other forms of evidence such as police reports to present before a judge as proof.

Do I need a court order?

Yes, to legally change your name you must follow an established process, and go through the same procedure as anyone filing a name change application. A court could reject your request for several reasons such as hiding from law or trying to avoid paying debts, child support payments or alimony; using offensive, misleading, trademarked names; or choosing names likely to cause confusion for security and safety purposes (ie Kill U All or Officer).

A Petition for Name Change will be the main document required when filing with your local court to change your name. Typically available online or from county clerk offices in hard copy form, a filing fee must also be paid when filing it – some courts even offer fee waivers to help individuals cover some or all costs involved with changing names.

Once your name change has been completed, take your judge’s order to both the Social Security Administration and your state driver’s license agency in order to update official records. In addition, Social Security requires a certified copy of your court order in order to validate it; they will issue you a new Social Security card featuring your new name.

Based on your circumstances, it may be necessary for you to publish notice of your name change in a newspaper as well. Your judge should explain this requirement if necessary, while clerk’s offices typically provide lists of approved newspapers for this purpose. If you are currently incarcerated or paroled, however, your judge will require that you notify warden, sheriff, or Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prior to changing it.

If your name change request is denied by a judge, they will provide you with notice as to why it was denied and explain how you may appeal within certain time limits. Most judges understand why one may wish to change names due to divorce or marriage but must abide by strict regulations to be fair to everyone involved.

Do I need a lawyer?

No legal advice or assistance are necessary when changing your name; however, having access to legal expertise can assist with this process and ensure all paperwork is in order. A lawyer will also review documents to check for errors that could delay or stop their change taking effect.

Your decision on whether or not to hire a lawyer depends on your specific circumstances and state law. For more information regarding requirements in your area, you may wish to visit your county clerks office – they should be able to inform you of required forms as well as filing fees that apply in your location.

Most states mandate that your name change request be published in a local newspaper for one month before going before a judge, which means you will need to cover any associated costs, typically consisting of running it in the legal notice section and paying any associated fees. Furthermore, you may need to submit proof that this has taken place.

Once a judge approves your name change, you’ll need to update all of your identity documents with it – including driver’s licenses, passports and social security cards. Furthermore, visit your local SSA office so they can make the change for you personally; typically this requires you to bring along both court ordered name change certificate as well as original documents like birth certificates or marriage licenses as proof.

If you are changing your name as part of a marriage, divorce, or becoming an American citizen, a copy of the final court document approving it. In addition, original birth certificates or certified marriage licenses that reflect your legal name at birth or wedding day must also be provided as evidence of change.

Under certain conditions, a judge may refuse to approve your name change application if its purpose is to avoid law enforcement or financial agencies; this practice is known as fraud or concealment and can lead to criminal conviction.

Can I do it myself?

Change your name legally through marriage or divorce can be done legally through court forms and appearing before a judge; notifying third parties may also be necessary. Steps for legally changing names vary according to state; some can even be completed without legal help – for more specific queries contact a family law attorney today.

Many people change their names due to a relationship or life event that compels them to do so, yet making such a major decision should be treated seriously and treated as such. When selecting a name that won’t cause confusion for others and one you will feel comfortable using for lifelong, you should carefully consider any nicknames, initials and ease of pronounce or spelling as you make this important choice.

In most states, name change petitions must be filed with a court along with your filing fees. Some states may also require publication of your new name in newspapers before approving. A judge or magistrate usually reviews and approves this process.

Some companies and government agencies require proof of your name change before issuing you with new documents, typically to prevent identity theft or fraud. Before approaching each agency individually for more information regarding what documents they accept and when, be sure to confirm with them individually what documents will be accepted.

Marriage or divorce are among the primary reasons for changing a name, each process having unique steps that must be followed to complete successfully. If you need guidance or assistance with any aspect of this process, or assistance for your particular circumstance, an experienced Rocket Lawyer network attorney is ready to answer your questions and get you underway.