People can change their names for a variety of reasons. It may be to correct a misspelling in their name that was made earlier, or to take on the name of their spouse’s family after marriage, to revert to their original family name after a divorce. Sometimes people want to change their names for astrological or numerological reasons, or even if they are not happy with their originally given names.
It is also seen fairly often that people want to alter the spelling of their names or even take on a pseudonym or a stage name, as is seen with celebrities or those in the performing arts. They take on names that are catchy, easier to pronounce for audiences in other countries, or names which they feel suit them more than their real names. Sometimes they take on the names of renowned or historical personalities because of their inspiration or impact in their lives.
On other occasions, people change their names for reasons that are entirely personal. They may want to change a name that they feel may be embarrassing or awkward, or one that carries an unpleasant connotation in another language.
Another trend that is now being seen frequently nowadays is that of parents maintaining their respective family names after marriage and merging their surnames with a combined hyphenated surname.
A change of name is a perfectly legal practice, as long as there is no intention to commit fraud or to deceive people. Regardless, whatever the reason may be for changing one’s name, just declaring oneself to have a new name is not enough from a legal point of view. In order for a name change to be legally deemed official, a person must book a newspaper name change advertisement.
In India, booking a name change ad in a newspaper is a legal requirement that must be fulfilled in order to make a change of name official and legally binding. According to Indian law, merely submitting an affidavit is not enough. This affidavit must be accompanied by an advertisement or a notification of the change of name in at least two of the country’s newspapers. One must be an English language newspaper and one must be a regional language newspaper of the state or Union Territory of a person’s residence.
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