Dropping Your Married Surname After Divorce: 4 Steps
Divorce can change your life in many ways, and unless you have children with your ex-spouse that require you to co-parent, you may want to cut ties completely before starting a new life. One way to do this is to legally reclaim your maiden name; however, you may not be sure how to go about having all your legal documents changed and the task may seem considerable, especially if your divorce is not yet final. Understanding which steps to take may make the process simpler and allow you to drop your married surname for good.
- Add a Name Change To the Divorce Decree
When you first file for divorce, include a clause that alerts the court of your intent to reclaim your maiden name. Doing so during the divorce can streamline the name-changing process and avoid having to take possible extra steps later, when the divorce is complete. If your ex-spouse has filed first, you can file a counterclaim that includes your intent to change your name.
- Speak To the Judge
When you appear in court to finalize your divorce, you may want to testify about your desire to revert back to your maiden name so it is included in the transcript. Not only can this record proof of your intent should you ever need it, but you can also let the judge know why you wish to drop your married surname and that you wish to do so through legal channels.
- Obtain Your Divorce Decree
You will likely receive a copy of your divorce decree once it is signed by the judge. It can be wise to make additional copies so you can take them down to your city hall and begin the process of changing your identification cards. You may also want to take copies to the nearest Social Security office and Department of Motor Vehicles, where you can fill out forms to request a name change.
- Inform Creditors of Your Name Change
Changing your name on your credit cards and utility bills may require a few phone calls and the completion of several different forms. You might have to provide a creditor with a copy of your divorce decree and copies of your driver’s license with the name change provided. It may take up to a month or more for the changes to take place, so it is a good idea to contact your creditors as soon as you have your new ID cards.
Reclaiming your maiden name after a divorce can be challenging, but it might also help you take those first steps to become independent in the aftermath.
Posted on December 20, 2019 @ 12:35 pm