How to Change Your Name After a Divorce

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

A divorce can be a painful and stressful experience, but there is one more step you must complete after the final paperwork is signed and everything is final. Your last name will not change back to your maiden name. You have to follow a certain set of procedures that will be told to you during the divorce process, which vary by the laws of the state you reside in.

First Things First

The first thing you need to do is get a name request form during the proceedings to get the ball rolling. You can ask your lawyer or the clerk court how to get the correct one. Make sure you are filling the form out completely and make the request verbally during the proceedings so that it will be one of the conditions of the marriage dissolution. The court will then need to approve the change before you can move on.

Your Driver?s License

You will need to contact the DMV and fill out the change of name form. Make sure you bring your current license and divorce decree with you to show you need to change your name. You will also need to bring your forms to change the registration on your car.

Social Security Changes

You need to get a new social security card with your maiden name on it. You will need to either download the request form from their website or go and fill the form out at the office. You are doing to need to bring the approved name change from the court and documentation of your former name. Once you complete the form, you will need to turn it in and allow seven to fourteen days for your new one to reach you.

All the Other Things

Now you need to contact everyone else that needs to know your name is different. Start with the credit card companies and banks, so you can get new checks, debit cards, and credit cards with the correct name. You will need to contact any utility companies and anything else you need to pay to make sure they have the name change information.

Remember you cannot start trying to change your name until after the divorce is final and the court approves it. You will need that document before you can get anything done. Making sure you make a list of all the places you need to get your name changed back will help you get it done quickly when you do receive the court?s approval.

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