Name Change

Legally Change Your Name with the Help of an Obermayer Lawyer

There are many reasons why someone would want to change his or her name; marriage and divorce are among the top reasons. While changing a name after a divorce may seem like a one more thing to do, it is often very important step to moving on and starting your new life.  Whatever the reason is for wanting the change, an experienced Conshohocken name change lawyer knows how important it is to implement the name change by following the correct process after the change occurs.

Changing a name in Pennsylvania is a fairly simple process. An attorney is not required, but may be able to provide guidance that navigates through the process more quickly, especially if there are unusual or complex circumstances concerning the change. 

Reasons for Changing Your Name

After a divorce many women wish to reclaim their maiden names.  In Pennsylvania, this is a fairly easy process, like most aspects of a divorce, however, documents need to filed and people and companies need to be notified; basically the same people you would inform about a change of address will likely need to know of a name change.  For example, the petitioner’s employer, bank, creditors, insurance carriers, PennDOT, Social Security, health care providers, among others will have to be notified.  Additionally, name change attorneys recommend that important records such as deeds, wills, ownerships titles, etc., be updated.

Often parents or a child will want to change his or her name for a number of reasons. Minors under 18 must have their parent(s) or legal guardian initiate the name change on the minor’s behalf.  The process and forms for changing a minor’s name differs slightly from an adult.  Parents sometimes want to change their children's names when they get divorced. A name change for a child is straightforward, if the birth certificate was issued in Pennsylvania and either biological or adoptive parents consent to the change of name.  In both cases, the parent must prove to the court that the name change is in "the best interests of the child."

Another reason someone may wish to change their name is because the petitioner has undergone gender reassignment and wishes to their name and gender on identity documents.  In order to change one’s gender a Name Change Decree has to be presented to reflect the petitioner’s new name.  This process is more complex and it may be prudent to seek out the counsel of an attorney experienced in these matters.

Why a Court May Not Grant a Name Change Request

In some instances the court may not grant a request to change a name.  If the petitioner wishes to change his or her name to avoid obligations, debts or legal actions or wish to defraud another person his/her petition would be denied.  If someone has a criminal record it may delay or prevent the person’s ability to change his/her name. If the petitioner committed a felony such as murder or rape, the court will usually not permit a name change.

Contact Our Conshohocken Name Change Attorneys

For more information or for help with getting your name changed, call Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP at (610) 825-3634.