When you get married, there will be a lot of changes that will take place in your life. Getting married is a major change and you will likely have to adapt to these changes that will happen in your life. One thing that you will have to experience is a name change. This can be a positive or negative thing for some depending on the person. If you’re one of the people that find the name change process puzzling, here are some things you need to know after you change your name:
- Be Mindful of the Name Change Exceptions
There may be rare cases when both people in a married couple don’t like either of their names. For that reason, it can make sense to come up with a new last name. This can be fun and memorable for both of you. However, there are things that you can’t name yourself and it is actually against the law for you to do so.
You cannot name yourself after a celebrity. This is because the government says that this would be intentionally misleading, which is very true. It could also cause problems for the celebrity as well. You also can’t name yourself after something that has been trademarked by a corporation, such as the brand name of a famous cookie or naming yourself Lego, for example. You are also prohibited from naming yourself a number like 4 or 6. Punctuation is not allowed either, along with including inappropriate language or curse words in your name. It is also against the law to try to change your name after you’ve committed some type of fraud or if you have a notable amount of debt under your name.
Most legal professionals would recommend that if you are changing your name, you should make sure that you know the exact spelling of it and can recall its pronunciation and spelling correctly. You’d be surprised at how many people have requested a name change a second time because they misspelled their new name the first time.
- Changing the Name is Easiest During Marriage
In nearly every state, people that are getting married can change their last name to the name of their partner. This is basic knowledge that almost everyone knows. However, not everyone knows that this is the most convenient time to do such a thing.
A lot of people also don’t know that you don’t have to completely remove your last name to fit your spouse’s name. You can hyphenate it or you can combine the two names to create one name. Unless both of your names are really long and hard to pronounce, this is one of the best and most convenient ways to go about it.
The reason why this is the most convenient time is because when you get married and want to change your name, you won’t need a court order to do it. You can just simply write your updated name on the license. Then you can show you marriage certificate to places that would normally require you to show identification such as the bank and the Social Security Administration. This will prove that the name change has been made.
If you’re changing your name as a result of a divorce, you might want to change your name back to the original one. When you go to court, you can actually just ask the judge to handle that while the divorce is in process. Once that happens, you should see your updated name on the Decree of Dissolution and then you will be able to go back to using your original last name.
In most states, you only have to pay a small fee to get your name changed after the wedding. This fee can go anywhere from $10 to $200 depending on where you live. Along with that, you might also have to pay a fee to get certain forms notarized. Since you would be doing this right after the wedding, you should also go ahead and pay for multiple copies of your marriage license so that you will be able to use it in place of your ID, social security card, or any other documents that aren’t updated with your new name.
It would also be a good idea to put these savings aside before or after the wedding to ensure that you already have these things taken care of. You don’t want to be surprised with multiple fees for something as simple as changing your last name.
- Update Your Name Change
Now that your name has been changed, it is time to update and let as many people know as well. The first place you should notify the Social Security Administration. Once you do that, they will send out a new social security card for you. Then you need to update the IRS and the DMV. You can also use your new name on your tax return as well. There are several ways you can notify the IRS of your new name. Give them about 2 weeks minimum if you’re notifying them by any way other than over the phone.
Other than those places you need to notify your bank, utility companies, and any other places that handle your financial information and business information. Try making a list to remember the places you need to notify so that it is easier to remember.
- Everything Depends on Your Location
Remember that this name changing information is general advice that can likely be taken to almost anyone living in the states. However, certain protocol and fees all depend on where you live. Also, some states don’t even require you to change your name in court at all. Some states require that you use your new name in the newspaper or see if anyone notices your name change and is against it. Regardless, do your research and make sure that you’re prepared for fees, paperwork, and anything else that may pop up during your name changing process.