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Guidelines on Changing Your Name in Texas

Change is the only constant in life. In some cases, the extent of these changes requires a person to change his or her name. If you want to change your name, the State of Texas has guidelines governing this procedure. There are procedures to follow and documents required.

Reasons for Changing Your Name

There are many different reasons for changing your name. Some of the most common reasons involve marriage and conversely, divorce. The old tradition was for the bride to assume her husband’s surname, but that is already optional now. In some cases, it’s the groom who assumes his wife’s surname. Alternatively, the couple could use both surnames with a hyphen.

Religion is also a recognized reason to change your name. A name change may be desired once converted. Another reason is that their given name hinders them from carrying out their daily activities, like their work.

Other reasons may be presented to the judge and if reasonable, it will be granted.

Restrictions Regarding Name Change

While the law is lenient about the reason for the name change, they have restrictions on the name that you will take. The Court will need you to comply with their requirements of notice and allegations in the Petition. They will not allow you to change your name to commit fraud or to elude debts and responsibilities. 

The law also restricts using the name of a celebrity or politician, or any name that would infringe on the rights of other people. Also, your new name cannot contain racial slurs, curse words and obscene language, or words that would offend a particular group based on their age, gender, race or religion. Names that may be considered absurd—those with punctuations or symbols would likely be disapproved as they may sow confusion. 

The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

A parent or guardian is allowed to change the name of a minor child, but the Court has to be convinced that the change is necessary, and determine that the proposed change is in the best interest of the child. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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