A misspelling of a name, astrological or numerological reasons, marriage or divorce, merging of surnames of one’s child, unhappiness with one’s current name, the reasons are endless as to why someone would want to change their name. People’s names are very special and personal to them as it is their identity. It is because of this that people want to have a name that they feel suits them and who they are as a person.
People change their names after getting married, they revert to their original surnames after a divorce, they want to take on a middle name or change their name to something which they feel to be more acceptable or suiting their personality or style better. Sometimes people even change how their name is spelled, or they want to take on a pseudonym or a stage name, as we have seen many celebrities, actors, musicians and various others in the performing arts doing.
Yet others may want to change their names for entirely personal reasons, such as adopting the name of someone they look up to, or a historical figure, or someone in contemporary life who has had a significant impact or inspiration on them. Again, other people may find their given names to be awkward or embarrassing, so they want to change their names to something more appropriate or appealing. Some names may even carry an unpleasant connotation in a different language, and this too is a reason many people change their names.
Nowadays it is also increasingly being seen that when two people marry, the husband changes his surname to that of his wife’s, and on other instances, parents of a child retain their respective family names and give their children a merged surname where they combine both their family names to create a hyphenated surname.
Whatever the reason may be to change one’s name, this practice is perfectly legal and has been widely practiced for a long time. It is legally accepted as long as there is no intention to deceive or defraud.
But, it should be noted that just declaring oneself to have a new name does not make the change of name official or legally enforceable. To make a name change formal and legally binding, a person needs to submit an affidavit along with a newspaper ad for name change.
Getting a name change publish in newspaper is important because this is what formalises the change of name and makes the person’s changed name legally enforceable in a court of law. Along with the affidavit that a person needs to submit, they need to book a change of name ad in at least two of the country’s newspapers. One newspaper must be in the English language and one must be in the respective regional language of the state or Union Territory the person is a resident of.
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