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How to Legally Change Your Name in the State of New Jersey

From a legal perspective, your name is a very important part of you. So important, in fact, that a simple misspelling of your name on a government document can have severe implications in your life. To further illustrate, having a misspelled driver’s license can obstruct your:

  • Job opportunities
  • Ability to cash a check
  • Opportunity to receive government aid

While not all people have misspelled documents, there are a multitude of reasons as to why you may find yourself filling for a name change. The following are the two most common reasons why a person desires a name change.

Most people petition for a name change when they are either getting married or divorced. The method of changing your name for either of these two circumstances is slightly different than the traditional court process.

Changing Your Name When Getting Married

One of the most common reasons to change a name happens during marriage. Fortunately, when people apply for a marriage certificate, this legal document serves as legal proof of the name change. Once you have been married and obtain a marriage certificate, you can easily make changes to all your other documents such as your driver’s license or your Social Security Card.

Changing Your Name When Getting Divorced

While going through a divorce can be stressful and time consuming, petitioning to change your name during divorce proceedings in New Jersey is not. In the state of New Jersey, you can change your name within the same documents you are filling when petitioning for a divorce.

The Road to a Successful Change of Name – The Court Process

The process for filing for a name change outside of marriage and divorce in New Jersey is  a fairly lengthy and difficult process.

When petitioning for a name change in the State of New Jersey, you may begin to do so in your local Superior Court. With this petition, an affidavit is required. An affidavit contains important information about you. It will contain your name, Social Security Number, and date of birth, among other details. Once you have submitted these documents, the following will take place:

  • You will need to publish a notice of your name change in a local newspaper both before and after the hearing;
  • You will need to submit proof to the court that you notified interested parties; and
  • You will need to appear before a judge at a hearing.

It is important to note that these above steps in the name change process are time sensitive. Understanding these requirements can prevent any prolonged delay in the process.

If you have been successful and the change of name was granted, you will then submit a copy of your final judgment to the State of New Jersey Registrar of Vital Statistics as well as to the State of New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Petitioning for a change of name can have positive implications in your life but it can also be a lengthy and challenging process should you be unfamiliar with the process and fail to complete each requirement. Hiring an attorney can ease the process and perhaps shorten the application time frame, saving you both time and money. Katherine O’Brien is an experienced attorney who has helped many people successfully change their name in the State of New Jersey. If you or someone you know is petitioning to have a name change, the Law Office of Katherine O’Brien can help ease the process.