The general legal requirements for changing your name are:
You must live in the county and state where the name change petition will be filed. In some states, you must have lived in the county and state for a certain time (often at least six months) prior to filing.
Legal Grounds for a Name Change
You may not change your name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against you. In addition, you may not change your name:
- To avoid debts and obligations.
- To defraud any other person.
- To capitalize on the name of a famous person.
- To a name that would be intentionally confusing.
- To a number or punctuation mark.
- To a racial slur.
- To a name that includes threatening or obscene words, or words likely to incite violence.
Where to File for a Name Change
The name change application must be filed in the proper court, which is generally located in the county where you reside.