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How to Change Your Name After Divorce?

A woman interested on how to change your name after divorce writing her plans on a journal over a table and a cup of coffee

by | Dec 9, 2022 | Legal Tips

When married, women can take their spouse’s last name and keep using it even after divorce. Yet, you may want to use your maiden name again for several reasons. That’s common, as many people ask how to change your name after divorce. 

The easiest and cheapest way is to let your attorney know you want your maiden name back after getting divorced. That way, your lawyer will file the necessary papers, so that name change becomes part of your divorce process.

If that’s not the case, you can always go into the process of amending your divorce decree to include any name change you want. Most of the time, the judge will let you do this. Otherwise, you will need to file a court name change petition.

Keep reading to get more details on this topic.

Name changes in the divorce decree

Getting divorced doesn’t mean you have to change your last name. You can keep it with no legal consequences. However, you may want to get your maiden name back for many reasons.

Changing your last name may signify that you are moving on and starting a new chapter in your life. This may be a means to reclaim your identity and detach yourself from your past experiences.

It is also a way to reclaim your independence, start a new life, and step forward by choosing your name. In this case, getting back your maiden name. This is a normal issue within divorces and family law.

Whatever the reason you have to change your name, the law lets you do such a thing in many ways. As said earlier, the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to do it is by telling your attorney you want to change your name. Your attorney will be able to assist you with that.

As a result, your divorce decree will state that you will not use your spouse’s last name but your maiden name once the divorce process is finished.

Please note that you can only change your last name to recover your maiden name. You can always order a certified copy of your divorce decree when it is done. You will need it to change other important documents.

You must file a court name change petition to change your first name. 

If you are unsure whether you want to change your last name, you can ask for a nonbinding restoration order so that you can decide later on this issue.

What if you forgot to change your name when getting divorced?

You can always ask the judge to amend your divorce decree to change your last time. 

Once you share your arguments on why you didn’t change it when you were getting divorced and why you want that change now, the judge will decide whether to go through the process to amend your divorce decree.

When the judge doesn’t grant an amendment to your divorce decree, you can still change your last name, or your entire name if you will, by requesting a court name change.

In this case, you will have to pay a fee to start the filing procedure. The court clerk will schedule a hearing right away or soon after that. It is a quick process, as the hearing lasts a couple of minutes.

Once the judge’s verdict goes in your favor, it will become a public record. You will also get a court-signed order you can use to change your documents. Please note that the judge may reject your petition.

Which documents should you change your name to after divorce?

You will want to change your name on all your documents, mainly your Social Security card and driver’s license. These are other documents that you may consider changing your name into:

  • Passport
  • Bank and other financial accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages/deeds
  • Insurance policies
  • Utility bills
  • Phone/cable bills
  • Student loans
  • School/work, including payroll and retirement plans
  • Voter registration

You don’t have to worry about changing your name with the IRS. They will worry about that for you. Once you have changed your name with the Social Security Administration, the IRS will be notified.

Apart from the documents, you will also want to change your social media information and let your family and friends know.

Final words

People tend to ask how to change their names after divorce. Given that’s a popular question, it shows identity is very important for many. Thankfully, getting back your maiden name is very easy when you inform your attorney about that.

After going through the process, your divorce decree will work as proof that you changed your last name and will be used for changing your name in other legal documents.

If you need assistance with your divorce papers or changing your name after your divorce, you can get in touch with one of our attorneys. Call us today! We want to hear from you!

By: MarkAdmin

By: MarkAdmin

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