Name Change: Going Back to Your Preferred Name after Divorce

name changeFiling for divorce has effects that you need to take action immediately, including your decision on whether to change your last name or not. In some cases, women don’t like to change because they are well known in the field with their spouse’s last name. There are women, however, who simply want to get rid of any connection they have with their ex. If you don’t want to be stuck with your ex-husband’s last name forever, know how to revert to any name you want legally.

Here is a short guideline to help you:

Check Your Final Divorce Decree

Ask the court to give you an option to change your last name in the final divorce decree. This will save you from making amendments in the future, which are costly because you have to pay more for attorney fees and court appearance. Request for a certified copy of the decree and make sure that it has a raised seal to prove that it is authentic.

Review Divorce Laws in Your State

Name changes after filing a divorce depends on state laws, so you have to consult a divorce lawyer to validate any information. The state can allow you to either go back to any last name – maiden name or the last name of your previous spouse – or use a hyphenated name, combining your maiden name and your ex-husband’s last name. Filing for a divorce does not mean that you can change the last name of your children, though. This is only possible if your spouse agrees.

Change Your Legal Documents

After the name change, the next thing you have to do is change all identifications you have, such as your Social Security Card, passport, driver’s license, and tax and payroll records. Bring certified copies of your divorce decree to the government agencies or institutions that hold your official records. Request for a name change and find out if there are additional requirements.

Changing your last name after a divorce is possible. You only need to decide immediately to make sure that your decree has an option before the court marks it final.