Sometimes, an identity change can really benefit someone who is fleeing from domestic violence. Other times, a sealed name change may work best. Depending on the state, your local domestic violence agency may even offer the address confidentiality program (ACP).
For an identity change,the victim is continually stalked and in even more danger by the abuser. Sometimes, the best way to evade the abuser and reduce the risk of further violence is to relocate, and become a new name and social security number.Although Social Security does not routinely change social security numbers, they will do so if you can provide evidence that you are being abused and that your life is endangered.
For the sealed name change it is important to keep in mind that because name changes are recorded as public record, there is a different procedure to use if you want to keep your new name confidential for safety reasons. A person who is a victim of domestic violence and who wants to have the record sealed due to a “reasonable fear” for safety may petition the superior court to change his or her name and/or a child’s name. The court will seal the file if the court believes that safety warrants sealing the file. This means that there is no public access to any court record of the name change filing even if it is not granted.
For the address confidentiality program, it is pretty basic, but to touch on this program....all mail sent to a PO Box will be forwarded to your current physical address. Contact your local
domestic violence agency for more information on this program, and any limitations it may have for you.
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