Written By:Adam H. Rosenblum
Your Dedicated & Trusted Legal Team
3 Generations & 100+ Years of Combined Legal Experience
For many people, changing their name is a huge decision that comes after spending some time analyzing the reason for wanting to do so. It is rarely something to jump into without serious consideration.
Since it is a legal process that takes time and money, it is a good idea for anyone thinking about a name change to realize the benefits that can come from doing it.
You’re in Control
People get their names at birth. Parents usually try to give their children a nice-sounding or meaningful moniker. However, as the baby grows into a child and later an adult, the given name may not continue to work.
Names can be problematic at times and lead a person to not like their name. They may have experienced teasing or bullying because of it or feel it doesn’t match their personality.
It could be embarrassing or cause them problems due to stereotypes associated with it. If it is hard to pronounce or too unusual, it could pose other issues with which the person is simply tired of coping and addressing. On the other hand, it might be too common, leading them to feel as if they aren’t unique or special.
Having the option to change a name that just isn’t working can give a person power and control. It can allow them to step away from the negative connotations and chart a new course that lets them define who they are.
It Provides a Fresh Start
Sometimes, names have associations that can make a person’s life harder or impact their emotional and mental health. Changing it can help shed those negative connotations and allow the person to begin fresh.
A name might be something the person still associates with a situation where they were a victim. Changing it can give them a sense of freedom to leave behind the horrible past.
It might be too close to the name of a criminal or some other notorious person. The person may wish to change their name to avoid having to constantly deal with the association.
The change may also be a result of a marriage that helps the person state a new identity and a new stage of life. Many women change their last names because they want the world to know they are married. This practice has roots in cultural and social customs that many women wish to continue following. Plus, it can make life easier if the couple has children.
Some people may wish to go through a name change after involvement with a legal matter, especially if their case was high profile. They may find it difficult to move forward and away from the situation without changing their name.
It Allows for Reinvention
Switching a name may come after a major life change where a person wishes to reinvent themselves and shed their old persona. A great example of such a situation is within the transgender community.
A transgender person is undergoing a transformation of who they are, which often means getting a new name. Being able to say goodbye to the old name can be freeing and help them as they become their true self.
For some people, a name change is necessary after a bad marriage ends. They may feel it is important to leave the name behind so that they can also walk away completely from the devastating situation they just experienced.
For professional entertainers, a name change could be an announcement of their public image. Many celebrities change their names because their old one isn’t as commercially viable or because another person within the actor’s union already has the same name. Uniqueness is essential in the industry for recognition and growing a career.
It May Help Avoid Discrimination
Names can be very descriptive and allow people to know about the person’s heritage and background. While that may be wonderful in many cases, there are some times, having such a name might be detrimental.
For example, some hiring managers may have a bias toward certain names that are traditional of specific ethnic or racial groups. Seeing the name on a resume may immediately mean the job candidate doesn’t get hired. To avoid stereotyping like this, someone may change their name to a more neutral option.
While such discrimination is not legal in the United States, other countries have no such protections. Having a distinguishing name could put a burden on a person or even be life-threatening. Changing it can make their lives much easier and safer.
Outside of race or ethnic discrimination, some names have stereotypes associated with them that are less than desirable. For example, some people might associate certain names with people who are not smart or who lack common sense. Having a name with this type of connotation could hold a person back.
It Can Make Life Easier
In some situations, parents give their child a specific name, but over time, they end up calling the child something different. When this happens, the child may grow up feeling their given name is awkward. They may wish to change it so that in professional settings, they can go by the name they use because going by one name personally, and another professionally, can be unnecessarily difficult.
Some names are just tricky due to interesting spellings. Once a child grows up, they may be tired of having to always correct the spelling or pronunciation of their name and decide to formally change it to a more traditional version.
Name Changes Can Be Beneficial
While there certainly are a lot of good things that can result from a name change, it’s important for people to remember state law governs the process. There are some situations that prohibit it. For example, a person cannot change their name because they want to escape criminal prosecution or to avoid a debt.
As long as a person is making the decision for the right reasons, a name change can be freeing. It can help a person improve their mental health, and be a good boost to their self-esteem. Most people never think twice about their name, but for those who have an issue, it is something that is constantly on their minds. Having the freedom to change it can really transform their lives.
It’s a good idea to hire an attorney to assist with legally changing one’s name. The paperwork and filing process can be difficult and quite time-consuming, so it is much easier to allow a legal professional to handle it to ensure it gets done properly. At Rosenblum Law, we have years of experience in handling name changes and will provide the support necessary to avoid unnecessary delays and issues that might lead to the request being denied. Contact us today to get started with an initial consultation.
How To Legally Change Your Name (2023 Guide). (March 2023). Forbes.
11 Things to Know Before Legally Changing Your Name. (August 2018). Insider.
Why Women Do or Don’t Change Their Name When They Get Married. (July 2022). CNN.
10 Principles for Changing Your Name as a Mid-career Academic. (June 2022). ORMS Today.
The Psychology of Changing Your Name. (August 2022). PsychMechanics.
About The Author
Adam is the founding attorney and principal of Rosenblum Law. With more than two decades of legal experience in numerous areas of law practice, his primary focus is law firm management and business development.Read More
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How to Cite Rosenblum Law’s Article
Adam H. Rosenblum (Apr 20, 2023). Why Should You Hire an Attorney for a Name Change in New Jersey?. Rosenblum Law Firm, https://rosenblumlaw.com/why-should-you-hire-an-attorney-for-a-name-change-in-new-jersey/
Adam H. Rosenblum "Why Should You Hire an Attorney for a Name Change in New Jersey?". Rosenblum Law Firm, Apr 20, 2023. https://rosenblumlaw.com/why-should-you-hire-an-attorney-for-a-name-change-in-new-jersey/