Many people return to their maiden name when they get a divorce. Although it can seem fairly simple on the surface, there is a legal process to go through to change your name back to your former name. Here are the two key ways that you can do this.
Request a Name Change as Part of the Divorce Proceedings
When you’re filing the paperwork for your divorce, request that you be given the opportunity to change your last name. Because this is so common, many states add this to the divorce decree by default. You should make sure that it is included. The judge may ask you about this during the divorce hearing, just to make sure that your request is reasonable, but you have to go through a separate hearing just to get your old name back.
Petition the Court
If your divorce is already final, you can ask the court to give you a name change. You can go through the divorce court and have your decree amended. In many cases, you can submit the application to the court and have it handled without having to attend a hearing. However, this can depend on many factors. The other option is to file a petition to change your name. You can do this before your divorce is final. If things seem to be dragging on, this is an option outside of the divorce. Typically, you’ll pay a filing fee when you submit the paperwork to the court. Then, you’ll be given a date to return to the court for a short hearing for the judge to decide whether or not to allow the change. In some jurisdictions, you have to place a notice in the paper about your name change. This allows anyone who wants to object to having the opportunity.
What Happens After a Name Change?
Once you get your maiden name back, you’ll have to submit copies of the official notice to your bank, work, and government agencies. It’s your responsibility to make sure your ID, Social Security, and any other paperwork is transferred back into your current name. In some cases, you may be required to pay a small fee to the organization for the issuance of new documents. It’s important to make sure to handle your name change through the proper legal channels. Talk to a family law attorney, like a family attorney in Tampa, FL, who can help you through the process.
Thank you to the experts at The McKinney Law Group for their insight into family law and contacting a lawyer.