The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page.(August 2007)
In civil law, a person's true name is generally considered to be the name given at birth or changed by a statutorily prescribed process (such as petitioning a court (available in all States) or specifying a new name on the marriage certificate (in those with such a statute)). A name assumed under the common law method (i.e. through use for a non-fraudulent purpose in those States which have not specifically abrogated common law names) may be used as one's true name. See, for example, 10 U.S.C.§ 1551; US v Cox, 593 F2d 46; Natale, 527 SW2d 402. The most ubiquitous example of the latter are women who marry in most States and simply assume their husband's name (a custom derived from the days of the Theory of Coverture).