Advanced Preparation Makes Adult Name Changes Easier

January 12, 2017 Posted in Our Blog

An adult name may not be unique like a Social Security number, but it is still attached to a wide array of legal relationships. Assuming that the reasons for changing a name (such as returning to one’s original name after a divorce) are valid and legal, the process is relatively straightforward, as described in Subchapter B of 45.101 – 45.103 of the Texas Family Code. However, once your name changes, things can become complex in a hurry.

Most Dallas name change lawyers would advise that advance preparation can help clients avoid significant surprises once the name change becomes effective.

Many Parties Require Name Change Notification

Most government agencies and businesses cannot process a name change until a Texas court makes it official. Some entities may even require receipt of an official Change of Name Certificate. All entities generally need quick notification of an official name change to avoid potential issues such as the following:

  • Government entities such as the Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles need to produce new documents that validate vital connections under the new name. Until this occurs, payroll deductions do not apply to the correct individual and driver licenses become technically invalid.
  • Employers can easily process and issue paychecks to the wrong person. Again, this information produces invalid tax and Social Security payroll records, and manually-written paychecks in particular may not be recognized by banks.
  • Banks will not typically process transactions when the name on the account does not match the legal name.
  • Creditors that process anything such as credit card payments, mortgage payments or new applications for credit can reject these types of transactions or process them incorrectly.
  • Insurance companies might not recognize premium payments or accept insurance claims when the insured's name does not match the legal name.

The time lapse between a name change and the need for notification might be as little as a month or even less. Whether the name change is a result of divorce or for other reasons, individuals need to be prepared with a complete list of entities to notify — and forms already completed for processing as of the name change effective date.

An Easy Process with Complex Legal Ramifications

Particularly in the case of divorce-related name changes, the actual process can take place easily as part of the divorce. However, notification requirements can vary substantially from one entity to the next. While many people might be able to predict the more obvious requirements, it may take an experienced attorney to help make sure that each application provides valid documentation and any required evidence when necessary.

For a clear understanding of the immediate effects of a name change and to thoroughly prepare for the effective date, contact us.