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 March 06, 2020

7 Reasons Why People Change Their Name

Homosexual couple sitting on floor and enjoying new home

There are many reasons someone might want to change their name—marriage and divorce are the most common. However, there are several reasons people change their name and having an attorney to walk you through the process is critical.

Name changes are more common than you probably realize, and the reasons people change their names range from A to Z. No matter why you might consider changing your name, the process is quick and easy.

Some of the most common reasons people legally change their names include the following.

Name change after marriage or divorce

Most states make it easy for a woman to change her name after getting married, but it may not be as easy for same-sex couples, a husband taking his wife’s name or other unique situations. Some states have a streamlined process for either partner to handle a name change in conjunction with marriage, but far from all of them do.

It is also becoming more and more common for couples to both take a hyphenated name after marriage or to create an entirely new name by combining their surnames. Depending on your state, this could be as simple as completing one form when you get married, or it could require navigating an entire process.

Changing your name back after divorce

When one spouse, traditionally the woman, takes their partner’s name during the marriage, they often want to revert to their maiden name or another previous name in the event that they get divorced. While this is not always true—many women opt to keep the same name as their children, for example—another common reason for a name change. Changing your last name may be possible as a part of divorce proceedings, or there may be a process available to you, depending on laws in your area.

Changing your name because you don’t like it

Many of us assume we are stuck with the name our parents gave us, but that is not true. If you hate your name, never went by your first name or are tired of having your name mispronounced or misspelled, you can legally change your name to something that better suits you.

If you go by your middle name, you might want to erase your first name forever. Have you been called a nickname your whole life? Is your name spelled in a way no one seems to get right? You can use a legal name change to fix any of these issues.

Personal branding

Personal branding has become an essential part of the business. Writers, musicians, radio personalities, actors and actresses, social media influencers, and others who are well-known by a pseudonym or pen name may want to legally change their name to fully take ownership of the identity they created for themselves.

You likely already go by your pseudonym on social media, it is how you are known professionally, and any new friends you greet meet you as your pseudonym. Making the legal change is the last step.

Changing a child’s surname

Circumstances change within families more often than most of us consider. Parents who are absent when the child is an infant may get involved later on, or those who are there in early childhood may not always be in the picture. Mothers may put their surname on the child’s birth certificate if they are not yet married to the father and want to change both their names when they get married. A legal name change is possible in any of these circumstances.

Changing your name due to discrimination

Some people believe that certain names hurt them when applying for jobs or undertaking similar tasks. While it is illegal to discriminate based on national origin, some employers might still pass over an applicant with a difficult to pronounce or unusual “ethnic” name. Even if they do not worry about discrimination, some people find their given names are too difficult to pronounce or spell.

On the other hand, others are reclaiming their family heritage by changing the spelling of their name or altering the name entirely to go back to what it was before their ancestors immigrated to the United States.

Needing a name change to match personal pronouns

When someone is transgender, they likely grew up with a name they do not feel suits them. Their parents likely gave them a name that is typically associated with the opposite gender. For this reason, many transgender people want to legally change their name to something more masculine or feminine. Changing their name can be a key step in beginning a new life as their preferred gender.

Get your name change started today

Through the purchase of a LegalShield legal plan, can help you with an uncontested name change. Once you’ve signed up, a local lawyer will contact you within a few hours. After a quick discussion about your needs, your LegalShield lawyer will walk you through the process according to the laws in your state. They will draw up the paperwork and ensure it gets filed properly.

LegalShield provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield Members through member-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. See a plan contract at legalshield.com for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts, and conditions. This is not intended to be legal or medical advice. Please contact a medical professional for medical advice or assistance and a lawyer for legal advice or assistance.


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