The decision to change your name may be for a number of valid reasons. Some people don't like the sound of their name, it may be too difficult for others to pronounce, or maybe you want a fresh start with a new identity for the heck of it. The courts are willing to grant a name change to any individual for any reason they specify, as long as the name change is not being used for fraud or criminal purposes.
The first step to change your name is to fill out a name change request at the county courthouse. There is a moderate filing fee attached and the short form document will ask you to list your current full name, any names you have used in the past, and what your new name will be.
Once the name change application is filled out, you will hand it in to the county clerk and the legal officials will do a background check for felonies or outstanding warrants for an arrest. If the application is free of any criminal wrong doing, the name change applicant will be issued a court date to stand before a judge.
The name change applicant will be require to buy a newspaper advertising block of four to six consecutive weeks declaring that so and so will now be known as this new name. The newspaper ads need not be in your living area, so try to get the best publication rates from a newspaper in a small town.
The judicial proceedings for a name change are fast as lightning, with the magistrate asking you to declare under oath in court that the new name is what you wish to be known as. In addition, the judge may ask you to certify that you do not intend to use the new name for fraudulent purposes. He or she may ask you your purpose for changing your name, however, your answer is simply a matter of responding to the judge's request, and he or she will make no comment or judgment as to why you wish to change your name. The court reporter takes down the transcripts, and at the bang of the gavel, you have a legally recognized new name.
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