Under the laws of the State of Virginia, it is legal and proper for an adult individual to adopt any name that he or she chooses, so long as there is no fraudulent purpose intended by the name selection. It is not necessary to have one’s name formally changed by formal court order to use the name. Traditional name changes on a marriage certificate occur as a formality – even in cases of wanting to retain a maiden name as a middle name or create a shared hyphenated compound name. However, most governmental agencies (e.g.., DMV, SSA, IRS) and most banks will require formal documentation in the form of a Name Change Order from a court before they will change their records. Get more information from the Virginia Legislature’s Section on Name Changes.
There are actually several reasons and scenarios we’ve encountered concerning name changes from final determination of a marriage license to adoption cases. Consult with one of our attorney’s on how to change your name in Virginia for any of the cases pointed out below.