How To Change Your Last Name After Divorce

How to regain your maiden or former last name after a divorce. Information on changing your name after divorce.

If you wish to regain your maiden or former name after your divorce is final, request this in your divorce papers. By doing this, the name change request is granted at the time of the divorce and you will not have to file a separate request for the change. Many times the judge presiding over your divorce will ask you if you want to return to your maiden or previous name. The name change will be incorporated into the divorce proceedings, without requiring more paperwork or extra cost. Your final papers will grant you the use of your preferred name.

You will need certified copies of your final papers. They can usually be picked up at the courthouse within a few weeks after your divorce is final. Your lawyer can acquire these for you if you wish.

Your first step after your divorce is to change your driver's license. With your divorce papers in hand, simply go to your local DMV and request a new license. If your current license is close to expiration, now might be a good time to renew it also. This is a simple procedure and once the DMV personnel looks at your paperwork a new license will be issued. Depending on the state, you may get the new license the same day or it might have to be mailed to you.

Your next step is the Social Security Administration. You cannot legally change your name with your employer until this step is done.

You will need both your new driver's license and your divorce papers. Plan a few hours to visit your local social security office. Try to schedule this visit during the middle of the month when traffic is lighter. Be prepared to wait, as most offices are usually busy.

Once your number is called, present your picture I.D. and your divorce papers and request the name change. The worker will help you fill out the short paperwork involved and verify your identity by asking several questions, such as mother's maiden name or father's middle name.

This process is quick and you will be given a form stating that your new social security card has been applied for and substitutes for your card until it arrives in the mail.

Your next stop should be your bank. This should be a simple matter of requesting a name change on your checking, savings, and other accounts. They too will probably ask to see the divorce papers and other identification.

The personnel office of your employer should be your next stop. Depending on company procedures, this should involve a written request and possibly a new W-4 form for tax withholdings in your new name.

You should also change your name with the Post Office so your mail is not misdirected. Your local post office will have the forms you need for this.

Don't forget to inform your credit card companies and any other financial institutions about your name change. If you do any work online, you may want to check your name there also. Now all that is left is to tell family and friends about your name change. You are now legally free to use your new name on everything you do.

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