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Divorce And Name Changes: What You Need To Know

When you decide to get a divorce, one thing you may want to do is make a change to your last name. If you want to change your last name as part of your divorce, you should know the following things:

Why Would You Want to Change Your Last Name?

Some people choose to no longer use their spouse's last name once they get divorced. There could be many reasons why you want to change your name. One reason is simply to separate your old life from your new life. You may have had a bad relationship, and you wish to no longer have memories from your marriage. If you hyphenated your last name with your spouse, you could opt to remove their name from yours to make your life simpler. Changing your name after your divorce is a personal choice that you can choose if you wish.

Why Should You Change Your Last Name During Your Divorce?

If you want to change your last name due to a divorce, your attorney will advise you to start the process while your divorce is in progress instead of waiting. If you opt to wait until after your divorce is final, changing your last name will cost you more money in legal fees since it is a separate proceeding. Keep in mind that some states may not include a name change as part of a divorce, but you still might be able to request the change as one of your divorce terms. Once your divorce is final, your new last name will appear on your divorce documents.

What Should You Check for Before You Change Your Name?

The first thing to check before you change your last name, you should check the rules in your state to see if the name can be changed with or without notifying your spouse. In some states, you can simply begin using your new last name. The only thing you have to do is change your name on your official records. You can do that by contacting the registrar with each record and requesting a change to your name.

In some states, you need proof of your last name prior to marriage. Examples include an original birth certificate or a passport you obtained before you were married. You then have to get a court order to change your name.

If you would like to change your name due to a divorce, speak to your divorce lawyer about the laws in your state to find out what you need to do.