One topic you might consider once your divorce is final is whether you should change you name. There are many reasons why you should and should not change your name. Whatever the reason may be for changing your name, the process is pretty simple in most places. This article discusses some common reasons why you may consider changing your name after divorce.
Why Change Your Name
Below are some common situations in which people decide to change their name after divorce.
- Name changes after finalization of divorce or annulment. A woman has the option of legally keeping her birth name or adopting her husband’s surname when she gets married. A husband or wife also has the option of changing their last names to a combination of the two or something altogether different. In states that recognize same sex marriages, one partner also has the option of changing his or her last name to the other partner’s. The couple also has the option of hyphenating their name.
- Name changes for unmarried couples. You do not need to be legally married to change your last name to that of your partner’s. You may change your last name if you are not legally married, plan not to get married, or the state in which you live does not recognize same sex marriage.
- Changing your child’s name after divorce. In some divorces where one parent is awarded sole custody of the children, they may want to make sure the children have the same last name as them.
- Name change due to lifestyle and convenience. You may not like the name or the spelling of the name that you were given at birth. Exception for a few legal limitations, you can be as creative as you want in selecting your name.
Restrictions on Name Changes
While the law allows you a lot of leeway in changing your name, there are some restrictions and limitations, as discussed below:
- You cannot choose a name with fraudulent intent — meaning you intend to do something illegal.
- Your new name cannot interfere with the rights of others, which generally is defined as choosing the name of a famous person with the intent to mislead.
- You cannot use a name that would be intentionally confuse others.
- You cannot choose a name that has a racial connotation.
- You cannot choose a name that could be considered a “fighting word,” which includes threatening or obscene words, or words likely to incite violence.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for divorce, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.