There are many reasons why people change their name. Whether it’s your surname or your first name, it’s important to understand the effects that a name change can have.
You will need to make sure to notify everyone from your bank to your doctor – failing to tell the right people that you have changed your name could result in all kinds of problems including filing errors and credit check rejections. There could also be some costs to consider such as getting a new passport or driver’s licence.
Seeking out legal advice is worthwhile so that you can make sure that your name change is officially recognized. This post runs through a few circumstances in which you may consider changing your name and the things you should consider in each case.
Changing your name after marriage
It’s traditional for a woman to take their husband’s surname after marriage. However, not all women do this. In fact, more women are choosing to keep their maiden name. In other cases, one or both partners may double-barrell their surnames to preserve them both.
You will be able to use your marriage certificate to help with the legal process of changing your name. Institutions such as your bank may need to see this, so keep it safe.
If you plan to go on a honeymoon shortly after getting married, you may want to wait until after the honeymoon to legally change your name to avoid having to apply for a new passport (which could take some time).
If you have kids, you should also consider what their surname is and whether you want your name and theirs to match. Many parents want to have the same name as their kids, but others are not too bothered.
Name changes can also occur after a civil partnership. There are LGBT services that can help you to understand this process.
Changing your name after divorce
You may decide to change your name if you get divorced. You do not have to do this, but you may feel it is necessary if you no longer want anything to do with your ex-partner.
A decree absolute is usually all that’s needed as proof when changing your name after a divorce. Most people revert back to their maiden name. If you plan to remarry again soon and take a new partner’s name, you may want to wait until the marriage and change your name after.
Changing your name for personal reasons
There may be many other personal reasons why you want to change your name. Some people change their name while undergoing a gender transformation. Other people change their name because it may be associated with bad memories and they want a fresh start. Others may do so for their own security. And then there are those that simply do not like their current name and want to change it to something more preferable.
This typically involves making a legal declaration and getting this signed by a third party. The fee for such a name change is small, but you may also need to consider the cost of changing other documents such as your passport or driver’s license.
Should you change your name?
Ultimately, changing your name is a matter of personal preference. Just be wary of the costs that may come with it and make sure that you have the right legal documentation. Be sure to also notify everyone of your name change.
Be safe out there.
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