Changing Your Name Back After You’ve Gotten Divorced
While it’s becoming more common for women to keep their original last name (maiden name) when they get married, by and large the majority of women in the United States still change their last name to their husband’s (or wife’s) after marriage. This is a legal process and becomes a woman’s legal name for all official documentation.
But what about when a couple divorces? It’s a perfectly legitimate desire to no longer want to use an ex-spouse’s last name. Especially if the divorce was difficult and there is a lot of anger and/or resentment.
Changing back to a maiden can happen one of two ways, either during the divorce process, or at some point in time afterwards. It can be a few weeks, months, or even years–there is no legal time limit on when a name change can occur.
Changing Your Name During The Divorce Process
Changing your name during the divorce process is typically very easy, especially in California. If you know you want to change your name before or during your divorce, notify your divorce attorney and the court will provide the necessary documents and processing to effect the change.
It’s important to remember that this is a permanent change, so if you and your spouse reconcile after the divorce and you want to change your name back to your spouse’s name, you’ll have to go through the whole process over again.
Changing Your Name After A Divorce
For a variety of reasons, a woman may choose not to change her last name during a divorce. Sometimes it comes down to a matter of basic convenience. With all the disruption a divorce causes in both spouse’s lives, having to change names on every bill, credit card, subscription, and financial institution can be a huge headache.
Once a divorce is final, changing your last name becomes a bit more complicated and often the easiest way to expedite the process is to work with a local family law attorney.
Your attorney can help guide your through the process and file all the necessary paperwork with the appropriate state agencies. You will also likely need to provide some or all of the following documents:
- Official divorce decree
- Current driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
If you have additional questions about changing your name after a divorce or would like to speak with us about getting assistance, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
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