If my wife would like to take her stepfather’s name, legally what does she have to do?

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2011

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If my wife would like to take her stepfather’s name, legally what does she have to do?

My wife is 52 years old. She was raised by her mother’s second husband almost since birth. He is the only father she has ever known. For some reason her grandmother was against her father adopting her. Now, she would like to take her father’s last name legally. Of course her last name is mine since we are married but she wants to get rid of the last name of her birth father (which she uses as her middle name). What can she do?

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Anyone can change their name--first, last, or middle--to anything they want. Your wife can change her middle name the same way she legally took your last name when married. (Note: if you wife did not legally change her last name to yours, then you and she do not have the same last name; she can use your name, but for a name to be someone's legal name, he or she must actually legally change it.) Contact your local courts if you or she don't remember how to do this; they should have the information and forms, and you should be able to get it either in person or, if your court has a decent website, online. Again, this is easy to do--you just need to file the proper paperwork in the same way.

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