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Massachusetts Law About Name Changes

Best Bet

Change of Name: Family Law Advocacy for Low and Moderate Income Litigants, 2d ed., 2008, Chapter 15. Mass. Legal Services. Covers petitions for name change, and special issues regarding children's names.

Massachusetts Laws

Selected Case Law

Merolevitz, Petitioner, 320 Mass. 448 (1946). "It is well settled that at common law a person may change his name at will, without resort to legal proceedings, by merely adopting another name, provided that this is done for an honest purpose."

Petition of Two Minors for Change of Name, 65 Mass.App.Ct. 850 (2006). Case provides a clear summary of the reasoning for allowing or denying a change of name of children in a divorce situation.


Name Change Forms

Other Web Resources

Adult Name Change on Social Security Card, Social Security Administration. Includes ID requirements.

Change of Name, Hampshire County Probate and Family Court. Describes the process and provides links to forms.

Foreign Affairs Manual, v.7, Appendix C, sec. 1359. Change of Name by Operation of Law, Including Same Sex Marriage and Civil Union, and Name Change for Use in Passports. Effective immediately, an individual who has changed his name as a result of a same-sex marriage may have a passport issued in his new name. See How to Change the Last Name on Your Passport Using Your Marriage Certificate.

How to Get Married in Massachusetts: How do I change my surname? (Same-Sex Marriage), GLAD. Describes the process and benefits of changing your name when applying for a marriage license.

Names and Name Changes (for Children), Neighborhood Legal Services. "This booklet is designed to answer some of the questions you may have about your rights regarding naming your children, recording your children's names, changing your name, or changing your children's names."

Print Sources

"Child Naming Disputes," Massachusetts Family Law Journal Vol. 24 #4 (August-September 2006) p.81-98.

Family Law and Practice, Mass. Practice Series v.2A, 4th ed, Thomson West, 2013 with supplement, Chapter 84, "Change of Name Proceedings."