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Name Change

Every year, thousands of people change their names for all sorts of reasons in Oklahoma. Marriage, divorce, adoption, paternity cases, and personal preference are the main reasons to change your name. The process isn't particularly daunting, but it is important to not miss a step. 

 
A few steps involved are as follows: 
 
  • Filing the appropriate paperwork 
  • Scheduling a court date
  • Updating driver's license, social security card, and other personal documents
 

Marriage: 

The most common way to change your name, marriage is also the easiest process because you don't have to petition for a name change before the court. Like most states, Oklahoma recognizes a marriage certificate as proof of name change. The process simply includes filling out the marriage license application with your current legal name and the name you anticipate taking after you're married, endorsing the form, and then updating any personal documents. 

 

Divorce: 

While the divorce process itself isn't easy by any means, it's routine during the divorce to change your name back to your legal pre-marriage name. Typically, what is bound during the marriage can be dissolved during the divorce process, so that includes name changes. Your desired name can be legally changed in the final divorce decree. Then, you will change any necessary personal documents such as licenses, passports, and social security cards. 
 
 

What if I want to change my name for personal preference reasons? 

While doable, the process to change your name for personal preference reasons outside of marriage and divorce is a bit more complicated. You will need to file a petition with the court for your name change. You or a skilled attorney (preferable!) will draft up a petition for your name change, then submit that to the judge who will then choose a court date far enough out so that you are able to “give notice.” 
 
It may sound old school, but in the state of Oklahoma, you are required to give notice via publication to a legal newspaper in your county at least 10 days before your court date. This gives anyone in your county a right to show up to your court date and contest your name change in front of the judge. 
 
This is done mostly to ensure your name change isn't for fraudulent or illegal reasons, such as hiding from creditors. The court might also want to hear your “personal reason” for this name change, depending on the judge. 
 
It may sound relatively simple, but having a skilled attorney who can draft your name change documents, submit them, and file the appropriate paperwork can be both helpful and faster in acquiring your requested change. 
 

Reach out to our team at 405-360-8036 to hear more information on how we can help you. 

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