Reasons to Legally Change Your Name

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There are several reasons why a person or a family might choose to legally change their name. Each state varies as to procedures for name changes; therefore, a person who wishes to change his or her name should check the specific state name change laws.


A wife or a husband may choose to change his or her name after marriage. It is becoming more common for husbands to take a wife's name after marriage. Some women are particularly fond of their names and want to hold on to them for sentimental or professional purposes. A husband, who may desire for the family to share names, may choose to change his name to accommodate his spouse.


If a woman opted to change her name after a marriage, she might decide to revert to her maiden name after a divorce. This is a personal choice. Some states require a woman to complete a simple name change form to reclaim her maiden name, while other states will grant a name change with a divorce decree. Women who'd like to revert to their maiden name after a divorce should check their state's law as each state will differ.

Acceptance of Paternity

If a man and woman have a child out of wedlock, children may have their mother's name until a father claims paternity of a child. Once a father assumes paternity of the child, both the man and woman may choose to change the child's last name from the mother's name to the father's last name.

Dislike for a Current Name

Many people choose to change their name because they may not be happy with their current first, middle or last name. Some people believe that by changing their name, their career aspirations will improve. For example, many celebrities have changed their names in hopes of achieving true Hollywood status. According to, transsexual people have changed their names to reflect a change in gender.

Name Change Procedures

If a person would like to change his name, the court may require the complete of a name change petition. Some courts may require publication of a name change in a local newspaper for four weeks. Also, according to, some judges may require someone to appear to court in person, while other judges will issue the name change based on the name change form.


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