Janie Slater, White Fence Realty

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

My Name Is Earl

In My Life, Writing on 08/05/2009 at 6:00 pm

I love my name. Do you? Not necessarily because it’s mine and I’m special like that, but because of whose the names were before they were mine. Both my first and middle names come from two incredible women–two very different women–who are my aunts and who have passed on to their reward. I can honestly say that I have never considered changing my name, and couldn’t be paid to do so. My name is as much a part of me now as the skin I’m in…and this skin’s not going anywhere without a fight.

There are some of you, dear readers, who do not feel so cozy toward your given name, however, as I do…and rightly so. Allow me to speculate some reasons as to why:

  • You are named after an undesirable, perhaps utterly despicable, character in your family.
  • You share the name with some has-been actor or public figure who has since fallen from grace or otherwise embarrassed him or herself.
  • Your name has earned you real bruises–of the black and blue variety.
  • Your name has earned you more figurative bruises–the kind that send you to the self-help section at the bookstore and/or to therapy. (People can be so callous.)
  • You prefer a new name for religious reasons. (A preacher named “Judas Priest Smith”?)
  • You are “larger” than your given name, i.e., “Destiny” or “Napoleon.”
  • You are humbler than your given name. (a “Mary” trapped behind the given name, “Vixen.”)
  • Maybe you just *know* in your spirit that you are someone else. Your parents, while good-intentioned, just got it wrong.

Whatever the reason, you are justified to take action and do something about it. The time has come to change the gateway to your identity–your soul’s identy–by changing your name. Here are the simple steps:

The process is a LEGAL one, and not at all uncommon. A Petition for Change of Name of Adult must be filed in the county court in which you live. (This form may be obtained online for a small fee from a variety of sources.)

On the form, you must provide a reason for the name change. Any lawful reason is typically adequate to satisfy most courts. However:

  • You can’t change your name for a fraudulent reason. Hiding from creditors with a new name would be considered a fraudulent reason.
  • You can’t change to a name that could affect the rights of another person (such as a celebrity).
  • You can’t change your name to a vulgar name.

Contact the Court Clerk in the county you reside to determine filing fees, docket number, & other special requirements.

AFTER your name change is formally granted, you will need to contact various agencies, like Social Security administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, Voter Registration, credit cards, IRS, etc., etc. But let’s save that for another day.

The Bard expressed the supreme value of the rightly-given name so well when he penned, “A Rose by any other name is not as sweet.” So true! But in the unfortunate case that a “Rose” finds it’s given name is “Bitterroot,” there’s a blessed remedy–a legal process to the rescue.

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