What are My Divorce Name Options?

What are My Divorce Name Options?

Are you already divorced?

You may have asked for an order to restore your prior name as part of your divorce proceedings. If so, this court order can be used everywhere as proof of name change. If you didn't request this and your divorce is recent, you may go back to the clerk or court and make this request.

In the event you don't have an order restoring your prior name you can still change names after divorce. You can be known by any name you have previously held. All you need to do is prove the link between these names. Marriage certificates, divorce orders and legal name change orders can usually prove the link between these names. If you have been married more than once you may need to show prior marriage certificates.

If your divorce is finalized and you want to take a surname you have never held before then you need to undertake a legal name change through the courts. 

Get your name changed as part of divorce proceedings

It's easiest to change names as you go through the divorce process. Just ask the judge hearing your case to provide a name change order. While most women go back to their maiden name, you should be able to change to any name you like, providing you have a sound reason. Use this court order as proof of your name change.

Didn't get your name restored as part of divorce?

It can be a little tricky to reclaim your former name without an order restoring your prior name, however it may be possible depending what evidence of identity you have in your former name. Start by changing names with the SSA. The SSA determines on a case by case basis what name changes can be allowed without a court order. If the SSA has a record of your former name, plus, for example, you can provide a passport or driver license in your former name you may be successful. 

Once the SSA is updated, you can then change names on your driver license. Again, withot a name change order you may encounter some resistance and it will be approved on a case by case basis. If you have proof of name change with the SSA and DMV, you should find most other companies fall into line. Keep in mind each company sets their own requirements, so you still may encounter difficulties.

Getting your records updated

Once you have court documents as proof of your name you can start changing names. No matter if you have a court order restoring your prior name, a court ordered name change or just a divorce order, we refer to this proof of name change document as your 'certificate'. 

If you only need to update state and federal agencies of your name and one or two additional companies, our basic kit is ideal. We'll provide state and federal agency name change forms and filing processes. We include a detailed checklist and the Easy Name Change guide, which explains the process.

Got a whole bunch of companies to notify? For just a little extra we can provide ready to send forms, letters and faxes or over 1,000 organizations. We'll also include a personalized checklist. Don't have a printer? We can even print it all off and send it to you. It doesn't get any easier than that! Just select which kit you want from the table below.

You may have only been known by your maiden name, or perhaps you have had more than one name.  After divorcing you may revert to any name you have legally held, providing you have sufficient paperwork to prove your link to that name.

Considering Changing Names?

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