Shakespeare once said, “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” True as that may be, there are a multitude of reasons why a person might want to change his or her name. It could be as simple as a misspelling. I had a client whose middle name was misspelled on his adoptive birth certificate, causing confusion as an adult. Or sometimes, it might be because of family history. I had another client who wanted to change her last name to that of her foster parents, even though she was never officially adopted by them.
There is an infinite list of reasons why a person would want a name change. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple! Arkansas Code § 9-2-101 says that any person can petition to have his or her name changed “upon good reasons shown.”
An attorney can draft the paperwork for you for a very low fee, and accompany you to court. There is $165 filing fee and you will have to present your petition to the judge. It’s a pain-free process but having an attorney by your side can help calm the nerves.
So what’s in a name? Whatever you want it to be.