Each state has its own laws governing adults changing their names. The process isn’t very easy unless you’re going through a marriage or divorce. But, it’s something that’s worth it to people who have a negative connotation to their name.
If you’re getting married, you have the right to take your spouse’s last name. Your marriage certificate is all you’d need to show proof of the name change. If a woman divorces, she can keep her current last name or maiden name. She can also choose to use the last name of a former who’s deceased. If she has children, she can choose to use the last name of a former spouse with him.
Other adults who want their names changed
If you aren’t getting married or divorced and want a name change, you’re going to go through a lengthy process that includes filing an application, getting character witnesses, publishing a notification, and telling the reason you want to change your name.
You’ll also have to disclose information about outstanding child support obligations or tax bills. You can only file the petition in the country in which you reside, so you have to provide a sworn statement about that fact.
A criminal background check is also required. This is a state and national search, and you’ll have to be fingerprinted. The court clerk has to decide if the application is granted. If it isn’t, you have to wait 12 months to petition again. If it is, you’ll get a certificate with the updated information.
Be sure you understand exactly what you need to do to get your name changed. Having someone on your side who’s familiar with the process may take some of the stress off you.