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Proof of your name change is required when updating your name with government agencies and many other organizations. When going through the court divorce process, ask the judge for an order to change names. You may request your former name is restored, or some states may allow you to take a new name if you have a sound reason. If you didn't request a name change order when divorcing you may still be able to change names but will need a number of proof documents.
Get a court ordered name change
It is best to request a court order that either restoring your prior name or allowing a new name while you are in the process of divorcing. If your divorce has already been finalized, some counties will allow you to request a name change order after the divorce is granted. Contact your county court to learn more.
A name change order states your full married name and full former or new name. We recommend asking the court to provide 2-3 certified copies or your name change order. This allows you to continue to change names instead of waiting for your only certificate to be returned.
Or use your divorce decree
If your divorce is finalized and you didn't receive a name change order you may still be able to change names without going through an additional legal name change process. You will need a number of documents proving the link between your names. This may be your marriage certificate and divorce decree, plus a passport, driver's license, or correspondence from the SSA in your former name.
The SSA allows name change without a name change order on a case by case basis, depending what proof documents you have available in your former name. If you can get your SSA records updated you can then have your passport updated. With 2 forms of photo government ID in your preferred name, plus your other supporting documents, you should find all other companies will fall in line. There may be places that simply refuse your name change without a court order. In such cases you may find it easier to close your account and open a new one.
If your name change application is rejected by the SSA you may find yourself with no option other than to go through the legal name change process.
Then update your records
When changing names after a divorce, chances are you'll need to get your name changed with around 15-20 organizations. An Easy Name Change kit will help. We'll provide all the paperwork you'll require to change names with over 1,000 organizations. We cover all state and federal agencies, plus hundreds more companies. Wherever you can change names in writing, simply sign our notifications and send! Where you an organization has a different process, we explain exactly what to do so you're not left guessing.
Need a Replacement Divorce Order or Name Change Order?
If you have already been divorced you may need a new certified copy of your divorce or name change order. You can order this from the clerk of court in the same county where your divorce was granted. To find the contact details for your local county just Google 'clerk of county court', plus your county or state name.