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changing your name

Can You Change Your Name Back to Your Ex’s?

The Kardashians are hard to keep up with, but Kris Jenner wants to make it easier by going back to the family name. It's a little strange because Jenner was not born a Kardashian. She become one through marriage and the man she married is deceased, but some of her children do have the now-famous family name. Can she do that? The answer is most likely yes. Although states have different statutes that outline the process of reclaiming a name or changing a name, generally speaking people are free to change their names within some limitations. Let's consider. Legal Name Change The process for a legal name change differs from state to state. For the most part, you can change your name to anything you want that is not obscene or a racial slur, does not contain numbers or symbols, and does not cause undue confusion. For example, if you decide to change your name to Kardashian it might not be approved as you would be appropriating a name that now symbolizes a specific family. You cannot change your name to that of someone famous in the hope of appropriating their shine, and you cannot change your name for criminal purposes or to evade the law. No court will approve of a name change based on the fact that you wish to escape your debt-ridden past identity. But a court will allow a name change for an adult child who wishes to take his mother's maiden name, for example, in a sign of solidarity. The Original To restore a name after a divorce, in many states all you will have to do is ask that the restoration be noted in your divorce decree. If you don't do it immediately and decide later to shed your married name, you can also follow a procedure subsequent to the divorce as laid out by your state's statute. Kris Jenner says that is what she wants to do, reports E! News. Her daughters have done very well with the name of her first husband, now deceased. Now that Bruce Jenner is Caitlyn and Kris is single again, she told her daughter Khloe in a deleted scene on their reality television show that she's planning to be a Kardashian again. Khloe was apparently shocked, asking, "Why? You haven't been that in over 24 years." "I was that before you were that," Kris Jenner explains. "I was the original Kardashian." But Kris is not the only reality television mom who longs to share a name with her super star children again -- in February, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills mom Yolanda Foster, a former model and the mother of models Gigi and Bella Hadid, said she was going back to her ex-husband's name. She wants to be a Hadid, just like her kids. Related Resources: Changing Your Name After Marriage (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) So You Want to Legally Change Your Name (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Get a Different name Day: Why and How To Do It (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Legal How-To: Taking Your Wife's Last Name (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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Get a Different Name Day: Why and How to Do It

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: Marriage and divorce. It's common for one spouse to adopt the other spouse's name after marriage. On the flipside, when things go south, ex-spouses change their names back after divorce. It's also not unheard of for custodial parents to change their kids' last names after a divorce, particularly after a contentious one. Personal preference. If your parents bestowed upon you a name that's a little too special for your liking -- like, ahem, North West -- you can change it. But you generally must wait until you're 18 or get emancipated. Publicity. Folks with a flair for eccentricity might change their names as a publicity stunt. For example, cannabis connoisseur Ed Forchion tried to change his name to "NJWeedman.com." Unfortunately for Forchion, your name change may not pan out if it risks creating unnecessary confusion or condoning illegal activity. Notoriety. Some people with notorious last names, including members of the Sandusky and Madoff clans, have sought to change their names to get a fresh start and to distance themselves from negative associations. Personal or political reasons. Sometimes a name change can carry personal, professional, or political significance. For example, San Francisco 49ers' safety Donte Whitner plans to change his name to "Hitner" for his fans (but it's been delayed until he can be present in court, ESPN reports). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio changed his name twice to honor his mother's side of the family. 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. Related Resources: Changing Your Name (FindLaw) What's In a Name? How to Legally Change Your Name (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Fla. Man Takes Wife's Last Name, Accused of Driver's License Fraud (FindLaw's Legally Weird) Baby's Name Can't Be 'Messiah,' Tenn. Judge Rules (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
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