This is not a substitute for legal advice.  An attorney must be consulted.

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Why would a person choose to change their name?

Some reasons for changing your name might be 1) Marriage; 2) Divorce; 3) Becoming a U.S. Citizen; 4) Adoption; or 5) Personal Issues.


In many states a marriage license document will supply an area for a name change. Locate the correct line and write in your new name.  This should take care of the name change, for both men and women, depending upon the situation of the marriage. If you have questions regarding paperwork that should be prepared before entering into a marriage, please consult an attorney.


In some states when dealing with a divorce, there will be a formal proceeding, if requested, to return to a maiden name or to make a name change. However, it is not always required, so individuals should consult an attorney when dealing with a name change in a divorce.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Individuals desirous of becoming Citizens of the U.S. will be required to change their names in Federal Court when they become United States citizens.


Adoption will also require a formal proceeding to provide a legal opportunity to change a child's name and, in some cases, the original birth certificate will be required.

Personal Issues

Name changes can also be done on your own for personal reasons.  


This is not a substitute for legal advice. An attorney must be consulted.