Can You Change Your Name Back to Your Ex's?

Can You Change Your Name Back to Your Ex’s?


The Kardashians are hard to keep up with, but Kris Jenner wants to make it easier by going back to the family name. It’s a little strange because Jenner was not born a Kardashian. She become one through marriage and the man she married is deceased, but some of her children do have the now-famous family name. Can she do that?

The answer is most likely yes. Although states have different statutes that outline the process of reclaiming a name or changing a name, generally speaking people are free to change their names within some limitations. Let’s consider.

Legal Name Change

The process for a legal name change differs from state to state. For the most part, you can change your name to anything you want that is not obscene or a racial slur, does not contain numbers or symbols, and does not cause undue confusion. For example, if you decide to change your name to Kardashian it might not be approved as you would be appropriating a name that now symbolizes a specific family.

You cannot change your name to that of someone famous in the hope of appropriating their shine, and you cannot change your name for criminal purposes or to evade the law. No court will approve of a name change based on the fact that you wish to escape your debt-ridden past identity. But a court will allow a name change for an adult child who wishes to take his mother’s maiden name, for example, in a sign of solidarity.

The Original

To restore a name after a divorce, in many states all you will have to do is ask that the restoration be noted in your divorce decree. If you don’t do it immediately and decide later to shed your married name, you can also follow a procedure subsequent to the divorce as laid out by your state’s statute.

Kris Jenner says that is what she wants to do, reports E! News. Her daughters have done very well with the name of her first husband, now deceased. Now that Bruce Jenner is Caitlyn and Kris is single again, she told her daughter Khloe in a deleted scene on their reality television show that she’s planning to be a Kardashian again. Khloe was apparently shocked, asking, “Why? You haven’t been that in over 24 years.”

“I was that before you were that,” Kris Jenner explains. “I was the original Kardashian.”

But Kris is not the only reality television mom who longs to share a name with her super star children again — in February, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills mom Yolanda Foster, a former model and the mother of models Gigi and Bella Hadid, said she was going back to her ex-husband’s name. She wants to be a Hadid, just like her kids.

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