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Changing Your Name Legally

There are many reasons that people would want to change their name, and the most common are when a lady gets married or divorced. The process of changing one’s name in this situation has been made easy, and the paperwork that needs to be completed is minimal. However, if you want to change your name any other time and if you are a man, the process itself can be rather tedious and take some work.

Changing your namehammer

In essence, everyone should have the right to change their name. Any adult of legal age must be able to change their name and any parent should be able to amend the name of their child too. If you want to change your name, and you are not in the process of getting married or divorced here are the things that need to be done.

Filling out forms

There are substantially more forms that need to be filled out if you intend to change your name. These forms must be obtained from the local registrar of persons. And completed in detail.

Making a petition to the courts

Often there needs to be a petition filed in the courts if you wish to change your name. This is because the authorities must ensure that the name is being changed for legitimate reasons and not reasons such as trying to avoid a history of criminal activity. Reasons such as career, future prospects and the intention of better recognition are some reasons that a court will approve a name change.

Please bear in mind that the courts will have to approve your name change and the new name should, in fact, be a reasonable and proper name. If the court does not give you the nod on a particular name, you can be asked to give another option.

court buildingInform the relevant authorities

Once a name change is done, an advertisement needs to be placed in the newspapers both local and national informing the public of your name change. If there are no objections from the public, you will have to inform the relevant authorities like social security, police, etc. This is done so that no criminal can take advantage of the system to hide away from the law enforcement agencies.


Changing one’s name should be a legal right, and it should only be done for good reasons. Many law firms can help you get this work done, and you should consult them if you are not clear about the process.