Changing Your Name in a Common Law Marriage 2

Sharing a Last Name With Your Common Law Spouse

[Not to be confused with the method of changing your name called common-law name change, this article covers the topic of name change for couples who are considered married by common-law]

Common-law marriage (where it’s recognized) does not include a formal ceremony, so common-law spouses must look for other ways to document their marriage in order for it to be considered valid by the state. One of the easiest ways to do this is for the wife to take her husband’s last name.

While laws differ from state to state, some allow you to legally change your name simply by using that name on a day-to-day basis (called a common-law name change). However, many private and public institutions won’t recognize this type of name change since there is no official documentation of the new name. That means opening a checking account with your assumed name could be difficult – as could getting a new driver’s license under your new name.

The solution is to get a court order granting your name change to satisfy any requirements by companies insisting that you use your “legal” name. This is a relatively easy process and doesn’t require any counseling, home studies or documented proof for approval. There are even do-it-yourself forms available online, and services that will do the hard parts for you.

Court Name Change Forms & Services

We have reviewed several of the name change kits and services available online. The ones that consistently receive the best reviews from our editors and our website visitors are the ones below, from US Legal Forms.

Name Change Kit (US Legal Forms)This do-it-yourself name change kit simplifies the name change process by providing forms and instructions for notifying government and other agencies of your name change for Court Order Name Changes. They also contain forms for changing contracts, wills and other legal documents.The kit contains virtually everything you need to change your name:

Six Step Instruction Guide; Checklist; All forms needed to change records for Social Security, IRS, Drivers License, Vehicle Title, Voter Registration, U.S. Passport, Bank Records, Credit Cards, Medical Records, Insurance, Employment, and more.

The professional name change service is available for those who prefer to have a professional review the name change forms on your behalf. The name change service includes all the forms from the name change kit above, plus the service helps ensure that forms are filed correctly because each form is reviewed by a US Legal representative. Each of the forms from the kit above will be checked for accuracy by specialists before paper copies are mailed out to you. If you want your name change to be handled right the first time, you will appreciate the accountability of US Legal Forms’ name change service.

Other Options

Changing your name is not a requirement, and will not void the marriage if the wife decides to keep her maiden name. Likewise, a name change alone will not formalize your marriage and couples must still meet the requirements of their State. For example, many same sex couples successfully petition the court to have their surnames (aka: last names) changed upon making a long-term commitment to one another, but this name change will not create a common law marriage because no state which allows common law marriage recognizes same sex marriage. Whether or not you change your name in a common law marriage – or in any situation – is completely up to the couple.

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