In this country, people are given their name before they even leave the hospital. While not the case in all cultures, it is one of the legal rules governing birth in the United States. However, this doesn’t mean that you must stick with that name for the rest of your life. There are several reasons that you might want to change your name, and the law provides you the avenues to make that wish a reality.

Why Legal Changes Are Important?

Children who are being raised by a step-parent might prefer to use the last name of this person rather than their biological parent. If this is the case, the last name can be legally changed, if all of the involved parties agree to it. This means that the non-custodial parent must consent to the name change. Additionally, the custodial parent and the child should agree with the decision. However, younger children are generally not given a voice in this case.

Others opt to change their name for professional purposes. There are many businesses where a particular name might be better received by the public than others. For instance, would you want a meditation specialist with the last name Rage? Probably not. While an extreme example, it gives you a good idea of why people in various professions might find that a new name is better for attracting clients.

Spiritual Journeys

Spiritual journeys are yet another path toward name change. Quite often those who go on a journey to discover their inner being find that their outside name doesn’t reflect what they feel inside. Sometimes a spiritual leader or guru can help with this type of new name. Others simply feel moved on their own to select a new name.

Perhaps the biggest reasons that folks choose to change their name is through marriage and divorce. Both instances provide an opportunity for one or both parties to alter their name. The choices include various forms of combinations that you can discuss with the local courthouse to make sure that your choice will be legally suitable according to your state guidelines.

During divorce, a woman can take back her maiden name or any other name that she has been legally allowed to claim in the past. Often, women choose to keep the same name as their children, though this is not as common as it was a few decades ago.

In all of these cases and any other involving a name change, you must go to the courthouse and go through the process of legally changing it. The specific paperwork and court visits you will expend on it depend on various factors, including the reason you want to change your name. An attorney can help you fill out the paperwork and even come to court with you if necessary.

Once the courts have approved your name change, you will need to obtain a certified copy of the records. Marriage licenses and other documents are necessary to provide to various government and private agencies to prove the new name is legitimate.

To get a replacement social security card , the office should be one of the first stops on your list. You will have to visit the local office in order to fill out the paperwork. They cannot take these applications over the web or phone.

Additionally, the department of motor vehicles in your state will need to have your new name on your driver’s license or state identification card. Once you have taken care of these two agencies, the rest should fall into place pretty easily.

Changing Name Require Appropriate Paper Work

When you go to court for a name change, you will need to have a copy of your birth certificate and proof of who you are right now. The additional paperwork that is required depends on the reason and method you are using to change your name. For instance, a marriage will not require an appearance in front of a judge. The paperwork is handled at the courthouse and by the person who has officiated the ceremony.

It is important that you make sure you change your name legally on all of your other important documents. For instance, your passport must be updated and your tax information must reflect the appropriate name. Your bank account, retirement plans and anything else that currently has your name on it should be fixed. Don’t forget about your email accounts if you have your name included on them.

Changing your name in this country doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it is a process that takes some time. Gather all of the appropriate paperwork and speak to an attorney if needed to ensure that you have done everything within the law. Once you have completed everything suggested here, you will be well on your way to establishing yourself with the new identity that you have chosen to use.