Legal Name Change
Millions of people have gone to court and obtained a Legal Name Change Decree. The reasons people have done this, over centuries, are as varied as those peoples’ lives have been. Some people Change Names to retrieve a Name from their past. Others choose a Name emblematic of the future they see for themselves. Legal Name Change is very personal.
Name Changes usually coincide with life changes. For instance, most Legal Name Changes occur around the time of a person’s marriage, divorce, start of a new career or retirement. Some do it to turn the page: To leave bad associations behind or launch into a new exciting direction.
The person Changing Names may know exactly what the New Name will be. Maybe not. It might be you’ve been going by a chosen name for a long time and then finally decide to get a Legal Name Change. Or, maybe you want a New Name, for entertainment or other professional reasons, and then study the possibilities before landing on one. Either way, choosing a name is quite like the experience of giving a name to a newborn. You might think about a name to reflect or respect the past (family, heritage, faith, Maiden Name after divorce, etc.). And, you might consider the future that’s coming (entertainment or stage Name, a hyphenated Married Name, career marketability, sound of success, etc.).
Legal Name Change-The Marriage Kind
Legal Name Change after marriage or after divorce is a long-standing American custom. During a divorce, it’s easiest to get a name change court order before it’s over. During a marriage, the marriage license is the easiest way to get it changed.
If you decide after the divorce is final, you can still get legal name change court order. That kind of Change is Backward Looking in that you are retaking a former name. It’s forward looking in that you’re shedding your married name.
Following California’s enactment of the Name Equality Act of 2007, either spouse can Change Middle or Last Names, essentially for free, by specifying the Legal Name Change in the spaces provided on the marriage license forms. Only certain types of Name Changes are allowed in the marriage license process. Traditional choices are allowed, but no first name changes. More Forward Looking men and women might be opt to Change both their Last Names to a hyphenated combination of both Last Names.
Legal Name Change-The Universal Kind
Name Changes by personal choice, might be choosing either a Forward Looking or Backward Looking New Name. For all these Californians, Legal Name Change through Petition is the way to go. This Legal Name Change process is also used by married people who want to change names AFTER getting married. Legal Name Change in California starts by filing a Petition in Superior Court. After a period of time, a judge reviews the Petition and, upon approval, signs a Legal Name Change Court Order. The Petition kind of legal name change is unlimited except for harmful kinds of name changes as are outlined in the California Name Change Laws. The Petition process can let you take the most eye-popping Stage Name, or the name your family had before immigrating to the United States.
After a Name Change Petition, you can get a Certified Decree Changing Name. That will let you get your Name Changed in all the other important places. It’s honored at DMV, Social Security, Passport, Bank Accounts, School, Tax returns, etc.
Regardless of why a person is changing names, considering whether to look forward or back will likely be part of the process. Whatever the trends may be, Name Change choices remain an intensely personal and meaningful decision.
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