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31 Changing Your Name

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1. Introduction

2. When may I want to change my name?

There are many reasons for wanting to change your name, including:

  • if you get married or enter into a civil partnership, or want to take your partner's name;
  • if you get divorced, dissolve a civil partnership or end a long-term relationship;
  • to take a double-barrelled name after you marry or enter into a civil partnership;
  • as part of a change of gender;
  • because you dislike your current name;
  • to separate yourself from a particular person or a time or event in your life;
  • to stop a former partner finding you; or
  • to feel more part of a new family, for example a step-family.

You may also want to change a child’s name.

3. When am I allowed to change my name?

4. What if I am widowed?

5. What if I enter into a civil partnership?

6. What if I want to change my child´s name?

7. What sort of name can I choose?

8. How do I prove I have a new name?

9. Who should I tell about my name change?

10. Further help

11. About this leaflet

The leaflets in this series give you an outline of your legal rights. They are not a complete guide to the law and are not intended to be a guide to how the law will apply to you or to any specific situation. The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since this was printed, so information in it may be incorrect or out of date.

If you have a problem, you will need to get more information or personal advice to work out the best way to solve it. See 'Further help' for sources of information and advice.

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Citizens Advice.

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Leaflet version: December 2008

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