Okay, sorry Patrick Schwarzenegger, er, Shriver. It takes more than just a Twitter post to change your name.
Patrick Schwarzenegger, 17, son of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, has advised the Twitter world he wants henceforth to be known as Patrick Shriver, reports MSNBC.
Seventeen-year-old Patrick Schwarzenegger tweeted Tuesday, "some days you feel like s***, some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet i love my family till death do us apart," reports Entertainment Weekly.
So what would Patrick, still shy of his 18th birthday, really have to do to become Patrick Shriver?
Let's assume Patrick Schwarzenegger is a resident of California.
Usually, a minor in California cannot change their own name without parental participation. Patrick turns 18 in September 2011, so until then he would either have to petition a court through one of his parents (in a "guardian ad litem" proceeding), or request the Family Law court in his mother's divorce action make the change.
Once Patrick turns 18, he can petition for a court-ordered name change in his own right.
So long as Patrick Schwarzenegger has no intention to escape debt liability or hide from criminal prosecution, and no intention to mislead, California law generally would permit him to change his name. This would be true around the U.S., with certain local variations.
Name changes in some states can simply arise through common law usage. But usually it's best to get that court order.
In a post-9/11 world, even if your state allows common law name changes, a court document will no doubt smooth the way with government agencies such as the IRS, DMV, Social Security Administration, etc.
So Patrick Schwarzenegger, we will be glad to call you Patrick Shriver. Your mother Maria Shriver might welcome the change. You might be a member of the Twitter generation. But you will still have to jump through some legal hoops in the adult world.