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Why People Change Their Names

There are many reasons why someone would want to get a name change. Depending on the circumstances, there are different hurdles that will need to be jumped over in order to make this happen. Let’s take a look at some of the more common reasons why people change their names and some of the initial steps that a person would need to take in order to get a name change in place.

Why People Change Their Names

Marriage and divorce are two of the most common reasons why someone would want to change their name. With marriage, the person likely will want to change their last name to that of their spouse or hyphenate their name. To change your name after marriage, you will need to present your marriage license to the Social Security Administration and have your name changed there. You can then go on to have your name changed on your license and in other places. In the event of divorce, if you want to change your name back to your name prior to marriage, the judge can include this in the final divorce order. You can then take this order to the Social Security Administration and have your name changed officially.

Adoption is another big reason why a name change would be sought after. It may be that a stepparent is adopting their stepchild and the stepchild will take their last name. It may also be the case that an adoption has happened and the adopting individual or couple wants to change the child’s first name or surname. Usually, the name change can be entered as part of the final adoption order. The final order can then be taken to the Social Security Administration to have the child’s name officially changed.

In other situations, a person may want to change their name because they do not identify with their given name or they do not like their given name. Maybe they want a simpler name or maybe they want a more unique name. Maybe they are non-binary and want a name that better falls in line with their identity. Whatever the reason, when a name change is not tied to another type of legal action such as a divorce or adoption or is not related to a marriage, then an individual must petition the court directly by submitting a petition for change of name. In many cases, the petitioner will need to appear before the court at a hearing to rule on the name change. Once the judge has issued the final order granting the name change, the petitioner can take that order to the Social Security Administration to have their name officially changed.

Remember, there are a number of places where you will need to change your name. The Social Security office should be your first stop after you get your court order or completed marriage license. You should also go to the DMV to have your license changed. Bank accounts will need to be changed. Voter registration will need to be changed. If you hold any professional licenses, you will need to have your name changed with the applicable organization as well.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Name changes can be complicated. Let the team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou help simplify the process for you. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.