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Old 09-22-2012, 09:19 PM
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IrisAwakened IrisAwakened is offline
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Default Name Change Rules?

I was wondering...

I know it varies from state to state, but generally, if someone was married, had a child by another man, could they then hyphenate their last name to reflect that of both men? I mean, can one just change their name on a whim, or does there need to be a marriage to do that?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:59 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I have changed all three of my names (first middle last), twice. It's quite easy to look up the rules in your state, but generally your name can be almost anything you want it to be.

In my state, you can change by 'usage.' You merely have to tell anyone who could possibly care what the new name is. Slightly more difficult than it sounds. However, because I did not go to court and legally change it, my birth name still appears on my passport. (I didn't know that would happen at the time I changed my name) My social security card bears my new name, my taxes are paid in my new name, but the passport? My new name appears as an AKA in the back. I almost didn't get let out of Martinique, because the guy said my passport didn't match my ticket.! I freaked, and lost my ability to explain well in French, that the name was in the back. He finally found it, and let me on the plane.

I got a book from Nolo Press on how to a name change by myself (without lawyers or court); and I think it also tells you how to go to court.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:28 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I didn't have any trouble changing my name, it IS slightly more difficult to do it at times other than a marriage (both my ex husband and I kept our names until about 7 years in when we both changed ours with the court to his birth father's name). Really the only problem was with one mutual fund that kept having problems receiving the paperwork to change my name on it, other than that it was just more annoying paperwork to deal with.

And for the life of me I think it was all done with mail and notary, I don't remember going to a court house or anything like that.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:47 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Location: Oregon, USA
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It can vary a lot from country to country. In France for instance, even if you get married, the name you were born with will always be your "real" name on any paperwork, however if you are married you are allowed to have a "name of use" (always shown after your "real" name) that is either your husband's name if you're a woman, or for either gender, both names, hyphenated, in either order. A husband cannot take his wife's name on its own.
Either way, you'll always be known officially as the name you were born with. You also cannot change it for reasons other than getting married, or to something other that your spouse's birth name or a combination of yours and theirs.

As far as I understand though, in the US you can generally change your name to whatever you want whenever you want (including first and middle names, which you're only allowed to change if you're trans in France).
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:11 PM
SamuelWest SamuelWest is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6
Default On a whim in Michigan

I'm sure rules may have changed in 30 years, but in Michigan, you could simply go to the court house, ask for a petition to change your name, hand write in the information, didn't have to be typed or handled by an attorney, paya $25 filing fee. You had to post an ad in a local newspaper, for 2 weeks I believe, your intent to change your name...this was so creditors and any other nosey people could know your business. Then you took proof of the ad and filed it with the county clerk and got a court date. The judge would ask if this name change were for fraudulent intent or to hide from creditors...you say "no" to both questions and it's done, the judge grants the name change, no matter how bizarre (or normal) it may be. The harder part is all the paperwork afterwards...changing ID's, work/school information, car titles, etc.

Alabama, the county we live in, refuses to allow a person to change their name without using an attorney, though I believe this is just to grease one another's palms, as the law here clearly states that the petition for name change can be filed by the person desiring the name change, along with any filing fees asociated with the petition...no mention of the attorney requirement (and it is quite costly to hire an attorney for a simple name change).

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:01 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I think in most states you can probably give yourself and your child whatever name you want. It's just the process that varies, and then you have to notify all the entities that should have the new information.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:21 PM
Tinkerbrat Tinkerbrat is offline
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I am going to be legally marrying one of my partners and we have discussed taking our other partners last name as a middle name. I'm in Illinois and it appears we can do this.... anyone know for sure
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