After a divorce, a woman can change her name to her former one, just as she can keep her ex-husband’s name. Some women preserve their ex-husband’s surname so that their children can share the same name, while others prefer to move on by changing their name. Several choices are accessible to you if you want to change your name after divorce. Talk to a Milwaukee divorce attorney near me to learn more.
Within the divorce decree
If your divorce has not yet become final, one of the simplest ways to reclaim your maiden name is to request that the judge presiding over your divorce include your former name in the divorce decree. The judge will then add an order to change your name in the decree, and you can resume using your prior name immediately without further judicial intervention.
Amend the divorce decree.
If your divorce has become final, you may petition the court to alter the decree to add language changing your last name. If your name was changed in a divorce decree, whether original or amended, save a copy of the order as proof of the change.
File a petition
A legal name change after divorce may be accomplished in some states by filing a name change petition, just as anyone who wishes to alter his or her name for other reasons would. However, this may be unnecessary paperwork, so be sure your state requires it before proceeding.
Start using your formal name.
When changing your name after divorce, several states do not require any paperwork. Instead, they allow you to just resume using your previous name. In some jurisdictions, you are not required to register anything further with the state if you continuously use your prior name.
However, like with any name change, make sure to update all of your identifying and personal data, including the following:
- Driver’s license
- Social Security card
- Credit cards
- Bank and other financial accounts
- Phone/cable bills
- Utility bills
- Insurance policies
- Voter registration
- School/work, including payroll and retirement plans
- Student loans
- State tax authority
Also, keep proof of your previous name, such as your old passport or birth certificate, in case you need it.
Change your name online.
If your state requires a petition submitted to the court, you can change your name after a divorce using online forms. Simply download and print the documents, fill them out, file them in your local courthouse, and follow the rest of your state’s name change procedure.