If you wish to change your name following a divorce or separation, you must alter your name on all official papers, such as your passport, driver's license, bank account, employer, property records, and so on. A divorce filing does not automatically change your name on all of these items. You may need to update certain documents or information about yourself in order to properly represent yourself with the necessary identification for any future legal matters.
Altering your name can be done at any time after your divorce is final. However, there are several reasons why it is best to do so before you start see your ex again or if there is a possibility that you could be re-married to this person someday. If you wait until later to change your name, you may feel forced to do so because someone else has already used your former surname or it is difficult to get official documents with another name.
People usually change their names back after they remarry or are married again. Therefore, if you plan to marry again one day, you should probably change your name back. Your new husband or wife cannot use your old name unless you give it to them explicitly or if you have it legally changed behind their back. Even then, they would not be able to use it until you file for a new ID card or passport.
The divorce decree or separate court decision serves as legal documentation that you can change your surname on your driver's license, social security records, passport, bank and investment accounts, insurance policies, and other documents. The judge will issue the final divorce decree at a hearing held in court. You should file the written request for the divorce decree with the court clerk's office within 10 days of its entry on the docket sheet. The clerk will file the request without a fee.
A divorce decree can change your surname for all purposes under state law. The court may wish to honor your former spouse's surname because they had it prior to the marriage or based on cultural reasons. If you want your new surname to be used only for official government records such as licenses and identification cards, you can ask the court to order it changed only for those specific items. Otherwise, any friend or stranger who sees your new surname listed on any of these documents could use this information to contact you directly.
You cannot change your surname once the divorce is final. This means that if you do not request a new divorce decree after your first one is finalized, then you are stuck with your former spouse's surname after all.
People often wonder about the effects of a divorce decree on children.
If your divorce papers do not show a request for a name change and you cannot have it entered into the court record, you'll still be able to change your name after a divorce, although the process may be a little more work, especially if you want to take on a completely new name. You can usually use your own judgment in deciding what name will work best for you after divorce. It is recommended that you wait at least one year after your divorce before changing your name, so that anyone who has your old records can be found by a new set of names.
You can change your name to:
- eliminate any embarrassing memories associated with your former name
- start a new life under a new name
There are several ways you can accomplish this task. You can file for a name change with the court system or you can simply tell other people that you have changed your name. If you file for a name change then you will need to provide documentation that includes your new first name and last name, as well as your current age. You should also include copies of documents that include your former name such as passports, social security cards, and bank accounts. A judge will be able to help you come up with a name change order that includes details about how your former name will be removed from all records.
Legally, it makes no difference whether you utilize your divorce papers or a deed poll to alter your name. In any case, it is not the paper itself that changes your name; it is just proof that your name has been altered—legally, your name is changed by usage. If you have children and you want to ensure that they can access your bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or other assets/instruments that require a signature, then it is advisable to use a deed poll.
You should consult an attorney before you file for divorce to make sure that you do not miss anything important like community property or deferred compensation.
The best time to change your name is immediately after getting divorced. This will prevent others from using your former husband or wife's name as well as yours. If someone else uses either one of your names without your permission, this could result in legal issues for them. For example, if a company signs up customers using your former husband or wife's name and you decide to take them to court over unpaid bills, then it would be difficult for the company to defend themselves because their name isn't on the paperwork.
In conclusion, your name changes when you get divorced. It is important to discuss name changes with your attorney prior to filing for divorce to make sure that you do not miss out on anything important.