computer that says name change with gavel

Although it is becoming increasingly less common, many people still change their last names to match their spouses’ when they get married. It is largely considered an outdated social custom, but it can be a show of love and unity for couples and help them feel like family as they begin their lives together. For couples who are getting a divorce, a spouse may wish to change their name back.

One may not realize just how many documents and subscriptions they have until it is time to change their name. Your driver’s license, passport, employee ID, social security card, and more all require your name to be legally accurate. For legal assistance in changing your name after a divorce, contact a Sparta divorce attorney and refer to the following steps.

Why Change Your Name?

Names are a significant part of who we are. From the day we are born, it serves as an identifier and representation of ourselves and it becomes entwined with the accomplishments we achieve and memories we make. When a couple gets married one spouse often changes their last name to match their new partner’s name. This can be seen as a symbol of unity and a declaration that they are now joined together and are family. To alter your name is a personal decision, and so is the decision to change it back in the event of a divorce.

How to Change Your Name Post-Divorce

There is more than one way to change your name after you get divorced. If it is an important part of your healing process, refer to the following instructions on how to change your name after your divorce.

  1. File a name change request with your divorce petition. Your divorce decree (the official document that proves the end of your marriage) can include a provision about your name change.
  2. If you did not request a name change in your divorce decree, file a petition with a local court to have your name changed. Provide evidence of your divorce and your former name, such as a birth certificate or passport.
  3. Pay any associated filing fees.
  4. Attend your court date if required. Depending on the jurisdiction you may or may not need to attend a court hearing to explain why you are changing your name.
  5. Receive copies of the order for a name change.
  6. Inform all relevant organizations and update important records about your name change. This may include the Social Security Administration, your bank, your employer, your credit card company, the DMV for your license, the DOS for your passport, your insurance provider, your children’s school, and any other place that requires a legal name change.

When you file a petition for your name change you will be informed of the qualifications that your state or jurisdiction requires. Some courts will require you to publish a notice in the local newspaper about your name change. To ensure you are following all proper procedures and that your rights are protected work with an experienced divorce attorney.