Name Change After Divorce
Get a court order restoring your prior name
Request an order restoring your former name as part of your divorce proceedings. Some courts can issue this before your divorce is finalized. This document is needed as proof of your name change.
Didn't request the order when divorcing?
If your divorce has already been finalized and you didn't request a name change order you can still change names after divorce. It's best to return to the court where your divorce was granted and ask if an order to restore your former name can be issued after the fact. If the court cannot issue a name change order without filing a new petition and paying the fee, you may still be able to reclaim your former name by following a name change correction process with the SSA instead.
Updating records without a name change order
If you did not request an order restoring your former name, you should request a name correction with the SSA. Complete the SS5 form, but choose 'name correction'. This process may be lesser known by SSA staff. The SSA allows a name correction where you have a subsequent name change following a relationship event such as civil union, marriage, or domestic partnership. Unfortunately many organizations will also ask for a court order to evidence your name change, in addition to the proof of your name change with the SSA. We recommend updating as many government IDs as possible so that you have multiple proofs of your current and former name before going onto change names with all other companies. (continued)
Always start with Social Security
As with all name changes, start by getting a Social Security card issued in your new name. Other agencies can only change names to be the same as is listed with the SSA. Read our section on divorce name change with Social Security for more information.
Then change your name everywhere else
This is the time consuming part as you need to contact each organization where you hold an account, membership or ID. You'll need to learn the process, get any forms and send in your request. No doubt there will be plenty of time waiting on hold. Each organization has their own name change procedure. You may need to send a letter, a fax, wait for a form to be delivered, visit in person or go online.
Generally speaking, we recommend providing a copy of your divorce decree AND photo ID under both old and new names. This results in fewer requests for more information.
Let us do the hard work for you
Can't be bothered calling each company to learn filing instructions and proof requirements? We have all the information you need for over one thousand organizations. Get personalized and ready to send notifications in just 10 minutes! Add the documents listed at the bottom of each notification, sign and send! It's free to browse our database.
Know what proof documents to include
In recent years companies have become more stringent in safeguarding account holder's identity. As a result divorcees report that it's more difficult to change names after divorce versus when they married and that they are asked for more proof of identity documents. With an Easy Name Change kit you can save yourself the inevitable hassle that comes with changing names, rejected name change requests and hours spent waiting on hold.
Here's how to make the change
The most difficult way is to do it all yourself - it requires lots of research, looking for the latest forms and information. Allow 20 minutes per company to do the research, wait on hold then complete any paperwork. If you have 20 companies to notify then allow 7 hours.
Got better things to do? Browse our database for free and see which companies we can provide detailed filing instructions for. Get ready to send forms, letters and emails. Attach the proof listed on each notification, sign and send!
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