Archive for the ‘Name-Change’ Category

Can I Change My Name If I Have A Green Card?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

A green card in the United States is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that certifies that a foreign national are have permanent residency in the United States. Under US federal law, permanent residents can in fact legally change their name.

Name Change

Here are a few tips for Green Card Holders Changing Their Name:

  • First legally change name under the state law using our online name change service. Remember: depending on the state, the information regarding immigration will differ.
  • Once your name change is final, replace your old green card with a new green card. It is not legally required but we highly recommend it.

Photo via Dan4th Nicholas on Flickr

 

When we get married can we take on a new last name?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Some states, such as New York, allow married couples to easily adopt a new surname upon marriage which may be, for example, a hyphenated form of the bride’s and groom’s names.
Name Change Process

However, in some states the process to create a new last name upon marriage is more complicated and involves more paperwork than the usual choice  of the woman changing her last name to her husband’s name.

One sure way around the hassle is to use an online service like Legal Central. Why not let us make your chosen last name a reality?

Photo via Duane Brayboy on Flickr

Why Do People Change Their Name?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Name change typically refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a name different from their name at birth, marriage or adoption. Name changes  are regulated by the state in which you reside.

Name Change Process

There are a variety of reasons why someone would want to change their name. Some reasons derive from tradition and personal beliefs, other reasons are logical and valid. Sometimes, however, people change their name for completely arbitrary, even fanciful reasons.

The top reasons (in no particular order) why people want to change their name:

1. Women Taking Their Husband’s Last Name.

  • A very common tradition and pretty straight forward process.

2. Women Taking Their Maiden Name Back.

  • Upon separation or divorce, women are sometimes eager to go back to their maiden name and abandon their married name.
  •  Most states have an easy transition for women to change their last name back their maiden name.

3. Women Decide To Make Their Maiden Name Their Middle Name.

  • Women who want to keep their maiden name but still share a last name with their family, sometimes decide to change their middle name to their maiden name.

4. Husbands Taking Their Wife’s Last Name

  • Believe it or not, more and more husbands are deciding to take their wife’s last name and change their own name. The process in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota are as simple as a wife taking her husband’s name.
  • In states other than the listed, additional paperwork is required for this name change to be completed.

5. Couples Combining or Hyphenating Names to Form a New Last Name

  • Recently, combining last names and hyphenating last names has become a popular trend amongst married couples
  • Some states this name change process is as simple as a traditional last name change process is. Other states however, require additional paperwork. .

6. Same-Sex Partners Sharing Last Name

  • Same sex marriages are not legal in all states, however same-sex partners can change last names in order to share a common name.
  • Same-sex partners who do change their name (in order for last names to match) often find it less complicated in financial, social and legal transactions.

7. Pronunciation and Spelling

  • Having a name mispronounced over and over again can be frustrating. Having a long name that seems impossible for other’s to spell also can cause frustrations.

8. Names That Sound Like Profanities

  • Being the center of a name joke can get old fast.

9. Immigrants Wanting To Anglicize Their Names

  • In the 19th and 20th Century, it was a rite of passage for immigrants entering America to pick a new name. Although today, this is not as common, some immigrants still decide to pick a “more American” name.

10. Dislike of Name

  • Some people simply want to change their name simply because they dislike their current name.
  • Boredom is the leading cause of this name change and often people will seek a more unique name (or less unique name).

11. Nickname

  • Some people have been going by one name their entire life and few people know their real name. This can cause confusion and some decide the best bet is to legally change their name to the nickname which everyone knows them by.

12. Faith & Religion

  • Religious individuals may change their name to honor a religious deity.
  • Individuals sometimes change their faith and believe it’s the best to have a name more appropriate for their faith.
  • Name changes regarding faith and religion are very common.

13. Transgender Decisions

  • Transgender individuals often want a name that reflects who they are.
  • Transgender name changes are often the female or male version of their current name. However, this of course is not always the case and a transgender individual can and will decide on a completely new name.

14. Husbands taking their wife’s last name

  • Believe it or not, more and more husbands are deciding to take their wife’s last name and change their own name. The process in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota are as simple as a wife taking her husband’s name.
  • In states other than the listed, additional paperwork is required for this name change to be completed.

15. Couples Combining or Hyphenating Names to Form a New Last Name

  • Recently, combining last names and hyphenating last names has become a popular trend amongst married couples
  • Some states this name change process is as simple as a traditional last name change process is. Other states however, require additional paperwork.

16. Same-Sex Partners Sharing Last Name

  • Same sex marriages are not legal in all states, however same-sex partners can change last names in order to share a common name.
  • Same-sex partners who do change their name (in order for last names to match) often find it less complicated in financial, social and legal transactions.

17. Changing Child’s Last Name To Mother’s Last Name

  • Women with children who have an absent father, sometimes decide to change their child’s last name to reflect their own.
  • The laws regarding child name changes vary from state to state but in most cases if one parent is not present in the minor’s life, one parent, rather than both, may consent.

 

Photo via Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr

Can I Change My Name While Being Sued?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

You cannot change your name to avoid being sued. If you are not avoiding a lawsuit or running from the legal system you can change your name while being sued. For example, if you are currently being sued and happen to be getting married at the same time you will most likely be allowed to change your name. The process for changing your name can be time consuming and tedious. However, it can be simplified and done online at www.legalcentral.com for $129.99.

Name Change Process

Before you move forward with your name change, be sure to keep in mind the following points:

• You cannot change your name with fraudulent intent. In other words, if you are changing your name to get away from your creditors, to avoid getting sued, or to run from a crime you’ve committed, you can forget about it.
• You will have to appear in front of a judge in order to change your name.
• In most states, name change goes on public record.
• Depending on the state you are in, you will have to release a public statement of your new name in a newspaper.

 

Photo via Jon S on Flickr

Can I Change My Name If I Have A Criminal Background?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

You are allowed to change your name even if you have a criminal background. In fact, anyone who has been a citizen of a state for at least six months has the right to file a petition for a name change. However, a criminal background will make the job much tougher.

Name Change Process

In order to change your name despite a criminal background, you will need to appear in front of a judge.

Your name change request will be rejected if:

  • The judge finds that you are changing your name for an illegal reason like hiding from the law.

  • The judge suspects you are changing your name in order to commit fraud.

  • You are on probation or parole (unless your probation or parole officer gives written consent).

Here are a couple more things  to remember if you have a criminal background and want to change your name:

  • If you are incarcerated and want to change your name, the Director of Corrections will also have to give permission for the court to allow the name change.

  • The judge has the final say to grant or deny the name change.If granted, the judge will notify local and national law enforcement on the name change.

Photo via gt8073a on flickr

 

What Should I Do After I Legally Change My Name?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

After legally changing your name, for example after getting married, it’s important to:

Name Change Process

  • Go to the DMV to change your driver’s license. Bring your new social security card along with your current driver’s license.
  • Change your name on all other documents.

You should make a list such as the following;

  • Bank Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Medical Offices
  • Voter Registration
  • Car Title
  • House- Leases/Mortgages
  • Post Office
  • School
  • Work

A few more points to remember when changing from maiden name to married name;

  • When booking your honeymoon it is best to book everything in your maiden name.  You want to be sure your ID, passport, etc. match your travel reservations.
  • Processing a new name on a passport can take up to six weeks.

Photo via Courtney Dirks on Flickr

 

How Do I Change My First Name?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

If you are 18 or over in the United States, you have the right to change your name. However, there are a few things you cannot do when deciding to change your first name:

  • You can not change your name to a word that incites violence or intentionally threatens others.

      • You cannot change your name with fraudulent intent. In other words, if you are changing your name in order to avoid debt, avoid getting sued or run from a crime you’ve committed, then forget about changing your name.

      • Your name cannot interfere with the rights of other individuals. For example, if you want to change your first name to William simply so your full name is William Clinton, most judges will not agree to it.

      • You can not change your name to something that would be intentionally confusing, such as a number or punctuation.

      • You can not change your name to something that is a racial slur.

Once you have picked a name that is legal (and feel confident about this name change) there are numerous steps to  follow – over ten different steps in fact – in order to legally change your name. These steps include filing a petition, submitting a petition to a judge, etc.You can avoid all the hassle by changing  your name at www.legalcentral.com. The cost will be $129.99.
Name Change Process

After you complete your name change always remember to:

1. Change your name on all other documents including;

              Bank Accounts
              Credit Cards
              Medical Offices
              Voter Registration
              Car Title
              House- Leases/Mortgages
              Post Office
              School
              Work

2. Be sure to remember to begin signing your new name.

Photo via Mr.Eugene $$ on Flickr

Do Both Parents Need To Consent To Change a Minor’s Name?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Whether one or both parents need to agree to a minor’s name change will ultimately depend on the state authorities. Here is some important information regarding the process involved in changing a minor’s name:

Name Change Process

  • The state will determine if both parent’s consent is needed in order to change a minor’s name or just one parent.

  • The necessary forms that must be filled out in order to have a minor’s name changed will depend on the state.

  • The law varies from state to state; however, most states require both parents to consent to the name change of the minor.

  • As a result of this law, there are sometimes disagreements between the two parents regarding changing the minor’s name. In such a case, there may be a hearing arranged in front of the judge. The judge’s decision will be guided by serves the minor’s interest best.

Photo via Emil Pakarklis on Flickr

Do I Have To Pay To Change My Name If I’m Only Changing One Letter?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Changing your name usually means spending valuable time, energy and money. Often people only  want to add, change or take out one letter of their name ( for example, Anne to Ann or Julie to Julia). These people should not assume that it won’t cost them to do so. In the eyes of the law,. changing one letter means changing the entire name.

If you want to legally change your name, (even if it is just one letter in your name) you will have to go through the procedure of name changing. This process is mad easy and can be done completely online with the help of www.legalcentral.com for a cost of $129.99

Name Change Process

Here are a few points to remember about any legal name change;

  • Yes, you will have to pay to change any letters in your name.

  • It’s important to be confident about changing your name, considering it is a process that will cost you something and take some time to complete.

  • Changing one letter means changing your name and a name change does cost.This process and cost is easy and affordable at LegalCentral.

  • You will you have to pay to change your name (to change that one letter in your name) and also remember to then change documents such as your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, medical cards, etc.

Photo via Betsy Weber on Flickr

Can I Change My Last Name To My Maiden Name Without Getting A Divorce?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013


“Is it possible to revert back to my maiden name without getting a divorce?” That’s a fairly common question from women who are separated but not legally divorced.

Separated couples who find the divorce process too complicated or maybe too expensive, often choose to remain separated. There are also non-separated women who regret taking their husband’s name, perhaps out of dislike and wish to change their last name back to their maiden name.

Key points for non-divorced women seeking to revert back to their maiden name are:

  • If you are seeking to change your name back to your maiden name keep in mind that the laws concerning name changes are governed by state law (most states have similar name change laws)

  • The documents you need to change will include your passport, driving license, car insurance, medical and dental records, and your bank and any card issuers.

  • In order to change your last name back to your maiden name on documents such as your passport and driver’s license, you will need to show proof of your name change.

  • When you got married, you most likely did not legally change your name, but instead used the marriage certificate as proof of your name change. Therefore, you are still entitled to be known as your prior name.

  • You may need to show the link between your maiden name and married name in order to change certain documents (passport, driver’s license,etc). In order to do this you can provide your birth certificate (which will show your maiden name) and your marriage certificate (which will show your married name).

  • If you legally changed your last name when you got married, you are unable to assume use of your maiden name and will have to consider a legal name change.

  • It’s important to keep in mind that during this process you will have to pay a fee for any charges in regards to issuing a new passport, license, and any other cards.

  • If you are avoiding getting a divorce and remain separated instead for belief a divorce is too expensive or too complicated, you may be wrong. Putting off a divorce to a later date,  may be more troublesome  in the long run .

Photo via L.C.Nøttaasen on Flickr