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It's Get a Different Name Day! As Juliet famously proclaimed to Romeo, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." But what if you feel otherwise and believe names carry special significance?
You certainly wouldn't be alone. People change their names for a variety of reasons. And the legal process for doing so may be easier than you think.
Here are a few reasons why people change their names and how you can change yours:
Why People Change Their Names
People change their names for a wide variety of reasons, including:
How People Change Their Names
The most important thing to do to legally change your name is to just start using your new name. Use it on forms and with friends, family, employers, and schools.
Though most states don't require court proceedings to make name changes official, it can be helpful. Common forms include a petition to legally change your name, an order to show cause for the legal change, and a final decree.
Not all name changes will be approved, however. For example, you can't change your name to hide from creditors or police, and you can't take another person's name to create confusion. Courts also won't approve name changes deemed obscene or offensive.
Since every state varies on their name change rules, you may want to consult an experienced family law attorney on your state's requirements.