Name change?

I am thinking of changing my first name, but I’m not sure if it has to be done legally or if it would be easier to use a nickname.

My mother and I have the same first name. It was never an issue as a child but as an adult it is really bothering me lately. People don’t know how to distinguish between us or they get us mixed up in important paperwork.

My mother’s birth name is actually not my name. But she didn’t like her birth name so she swapped it for her middle name, and then gave me the same first name…

So my name is [name]Alicia[/name] and the only other name I would be comfortable with is [name]Alice[/name]. My relatives call me by that name anyway. Is it acceptable to use ‘[name]Alice[/name]’ as a nickname? Or am I required to legally change my first name? Is it okay to use nicknames at your workplace? I had a coworker named [name]Abigail[/name] but everyone called her [name]Abby[/name]…I figure it’s a similar situation.

I would rather not go through the headache of legally changing my identity…which could even cause more issues than I have to deal with now.

Thanks for any advice.

I’m not sure if you married or not, but if you plan on changing your name after you married would be a good time… Nicknames are acceptable. You can’t use a nickname on important documents though… so you have to keep that in mind… but [name]Alice[/name] is fine for [name]Alicia[/name].

Can I ask why it is better to change my first name after I get married? I assume you mean that it would be easier to make the change legally, rather than just using a nickname?

I should also mention that I’m starting a new job very soon. I have already introduced myself to them as [name]Alicia[/name]. Would it be strange to start asking them to call me [name]Alice[/name]? Actually, I don’t really mind if I’m called [name]Alicia[/name] at work…the main thing that bothers me is the mixup with my mother. What’s the best way to deal with this?

Would it be better to be called [name]Alicia[/name] at my workplace, and continue using it on legal documents, but just use [name]Alice[/name] as a nickname with friends and on facebook, etc? Or would it be suspicious that I’m using two different names? Or, would it be more consistent to use the nickname everywhere, including at work?

It would just be easier when you are married because if you plan to change your last name, might as well change your first, not saying it’s necessary. Overall, I think that maybe you’re thinking to hard on this.

Nicknames are fine, you can use them all you want, it’s just when you sign papers you have use your real name. I know tons of [name]Mike[/name]'s, [name]Katie[/name]'s, [name]John[/name]'s, etc that go by that name, but when they sign, they write down [name]Michael[/name], [name]Katherine[/name], and [name]Jonathon[/name]… They aren’t two different names.

[name]Alice[/name] is fine, and you can ask people to call you [name]Alice[/name], it’s no problem. If you are concerned with mix ups with your mom though when it comes to documents, then a legal change is necessary because you have to use your legal name when signing important papers.

When I worked in college, I was actually called Viper all the time because our boss gave us nicknames (he can’t remember our real names, lol) a nickname is just something you go by. You can have as many nicknames as you want, it’s not a crime… Certain friends call me D, some say [name]Di[/name], others just use my name.

If you’re worried about being mixed up in paperwork then I’d suggest a legal change.

It’s perfectly fine to use basically whatever name you want for non-official/legal things. Work, magazine subscriptions, friends, etc. But because of the danger of identity theft it’s best not to use variations for anything related to credit cards, bank accounts, DMV and other government related things.

The name change system is just way more streamlined and simple when connected to marriage–you can basically change your whole name to whatever you want, whereas outside of marriage it can be a huge pain. Some states even require you to go to court and explain why you want whatever name. It’s just a big hassle.

Legally changing your name can be quite a process. I’ve gone by [name]Lucy[/name] since I was 10, and I’m 25 now. My legal name is [name]Kristin[/name] and has nothing to do with the nickname, obviously. I’ve always been more comfortable as a [name]Lucy[/name], and I go by that a lot. Not everyone calls me that, but things like skype, facebook, my non-school email addresses, etc, are all with [name]Lucy[/name] as my name. People have asked me about it and when I’ve explained that it’s a nickname and that it’s the only name I’ve identified with, they’ve all been really understanding about it.

I think going by [name]Alice[/name] and keeping [name]Alicia[/name] as your legal name is simplest. Having to go through the paperwork for changing ALL your legal documents, bank accounts, passport, etc., is a lot of work.
[name]Alicia[/name]->[name]Alice[/name] is a really easy transition, I think.

Good luck!