CanI use an alias after suffering domestic violence for which aprotective order has been issued?

I want to use an alias on as much as possible (lease agreement, electric) so that my ex cannot find me as easily (we live in the same city and I know he is a stalker although he hasn’t been stalking me). I want an alias on the rental agreement, so I can get an alias drivers’ license and bank account, and put utilities under an alias. Thenthere would be no way that he could trace me, not even through criss cross directories at the library. I just want to know if this is all legal?  I’m pretty sure it is since I’m not changing my SS# or using the alias to pretext avoid debt or the like.

Asked on October 2, 2010 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This could cause you considerable trouble, since if you sign a document with other than your legal name--

1) if the other party wants to get out of the agreement, that may constitute grounds to do so

2) the other party may have grounds or motivation to sue you for fraud if, despite your protestations, they believe you did this to try to escape your obligations.

While anyone can informally go by anything they like, legal documents should be signed with the person's actual, legal name, or at least an obvious dimunitive (e.g. a "Steven" could sign "Steve"). Your proposed course of action could therefore result in liability to you, the voiding of agreements you want to be in place, and at a minimum, misunderstandings and confusion.


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