Changing Your Name After Divorce 

Changing Your Name After Divorce 

 If you are getting or have gotten divorced and no longer want to use your ex-spouse’s last name, there are some ways you can affect a name change after divorce.

As with everything regarding divorce, state laws vary on this subject, but in the following section you will find general information on how to change your name after a divorce.

Within the Divorce Decree

One of the easiest ways to reclaim your maiden name is to ask the judge presiding over your divorce to restore your former name within the divorce decree, if your divorce is not yet final,

Then the judge will  include an order in the decree changing your name, and without any further court intervention, you can go back to using your former name immediately.

Amend the Divorce Decree

Some states allow you to ask the court to amend the decree to include language changing your last name, if your divorce is already final.

Be sure to keep a copy of the order as proof of your name change, if your name has been changed in a divorce decree, either originally or amended.

File Petition to Change Last Name 

In some states, a legal name change after divorce may be effectuated by filing a name change petition, just as anyone who wants to change his or her name for other reasons would file.

This may be unnecessary paperwork, however, be sure that your state requires this before going down this road.

Simply Begin Using Your Former Name.

When changing your name after divorce some states don’t require any paperwork at all. Alternatively  they permit you to simply go back to using your former name. 

In these jurisdictions, you do not need to file anything further with the state so long as you use your former name consistently.

After your name change, you should be sure to update all of your identification and personal records, including the following :

  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Bank and other financial accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages/deeds
  • Insurance policies
  • Utility bills
  • Phone/cable bills
  • Students loans
  • School/work, including payroll and retirement plans
  • Voter registration
  • State tax authority

Also, it is important to keep the proof of your former name in case you need it, such as your birth certificate or old passport.

Change Your Name Online 

If your state requires a petition filed with the court through online, then changing your name after divorce may also be accomplished through online forms. 

In that situation, download and print the forms, fill the forms, file them in your local court, and then follow the rest of your state’s procedure for name changes.

Final Consideration on Changing Your Name After Divorce

All of the above assumes that you would like to go back to using your former name after divorce.

However, there are different vittles likely to apply to your situation, also you may have to file a formal name change petition with the court, if you want to change a new last name or a new name altogether.

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