Can I Choose Any Name? 10

Restrictions on Your New Name Choice

While most women choose their husband’s name after marriage, or revert back to their maiden name after divorce, you can generally change your name to just about anything you want, within reason.

However, if you’re pursuing a complete name change as opposed to just a “married vs. maiden name” scenario, you may want to handle this issue as a separate process, as opposed to trying to address it as part of a marriage or divorce process.

Out of the Ordinary Name Choices

Most courts will scrutinize any name change request that seems overly unusual or “frivolous”. For example, you can generally not change your name to that of a famous person unless of course, you have a good and valid reason for using that name.

That said, name changes have been notably on the rise and some odd requests have been granted. A New York judge, for example, granted a parents’ petition to change their four-year old son’s name to Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles Jeremijenko-Conley.

Entertainer Dan Miller changed his name in an Ohio court to “The” Dan Miller Experience. His first name is “The” Dan (with quotation marks intact), his middle name is Miller and his last name is Experience. So, with that in mind, almost any name is doable.

When Is a Name Change Not Allowed?

Some states do only allow the court to restore a woman’s maiden or other former name as part of a divorce.

Also, courts will not allow you to change your name to avoid legal issues such as debt collection, criminal prosecution or tax evasion.


  • Sharon Stetler

    I am having a problem Changing my social security card back to my maiden name, I was able to change my drivers license back to my madien name cuz I had my birth certifacate, I was unable to keep my married name because it didn’t state it in the divorce papers and it also didn’t state I could go back to my madien name. How can I change my social security card what can I do. My ex says there is nothing he can do and I don’t have the money to pay someone or even to fill new papers, Please help me somehow. Thank You

    • Jaydan Lapenias

      My legal name is Donna Lee Jaydan Lapenias
      I am getting married next year and want to change not only my last name, but my first and middle. Can I do this all within the marriage paperwork or do I have to do separate? Please help.

      -Donna Lee

  • Sheena

    is it legal for a member of a homosexual couple to take the others name after bein married in connecticut being residents of pennsylvania?

  • Lacey

    My boyfriend is a registered sex offender. Can he change his name?

  • Melissa

    I never changed the name on my SS card when I got married, although I changed it on my Driver’s lic. I’m still married, but want to go back to my maiden name on my DL. I live in Louisiana. Is that possible and if so, how do I do it?

  • Janet

    I was married when I was 18 years old. It was horrible and by a miracle-I escaped 51/2 years later,with “our”two children. It’s a horrible,long story.Anyway, for some reason(I told myself it was for the kids)I kept my married name,and both the kids,also-to my later regret. Growing up in an abusive home,and not wanting to take “a man’s name”(even my biological fathers),I,at 48 years old definitely need and want to at long last get rid of the married name,but do not want my maiden name either. How much will it cost to get a new name(maybe first name also).How much does it really all come out to?? The driver’s license;the SS card; the other court documents???? -and lastly,If I just change my last name to something new-not the first,would it be cheaper?How about easier?? I would like to know the simplest way also. Thank you.

  • tammy whylly

    am getting married soon, and i would like to take on my future husband last name. but I also want to use my middle name as my first once am married. it sound better than my current first names for my maiden names, on my birth certificate do have both my first name and my middle name I want to use once am married, will I be able to changes my names around in the marriage process? I live in florida and will be married in florida.

  • Abb

    I want to change my lst name but im not getting married n I have never been married can I do that with no hassle and how can I how much does it cost

  • Marla

    One of my co-workers is in the process of divorcing and someone told her it would cost up to $600.00 to change her name back to her maiden name, is this correct?
    Please let me know
    Thanks much,

  • I have had my grand daughter since birth. My daughter was 15 when she had her. She was by no means able to take care and raise her. The father is almost entirely out of the picture. She was born in March 2009. In July 2009, I was given POA because they were never around and if she needed to go to the doctor or hospital, I could not give consent for treatment. They broke up shortly after that and the father basically disappeared. My daughter lives with me. In July 2010, I attained Legal Guardianship. I want to change her last name to mine. Can I do this?