Name Changes After A Divorce – What You Should Know

Women going through a divorce must make the decision as to whether they will revert to their maiden name or keep their married name. If you have kids, you have to consider them in your decision making process as well. Do you need to change your name during the divorce proceedings and can you change your child's last name? These questions are answered below.

Do you need to change your name during the divorce or after it is final?

There is no right or wrong time to go about changing your name – it can be done during and after the divorce. What you do need to know is that reverting to your maiden name during the divorce could save you a little bit of money. If you wait until the divorce is final, you will have to pay additional filing fees and complete a second procedure to finalize the change of your name.

To change your name, you will need to file a petition with the court, have it notarized and attend a name change hearing. The exact procedure varies from state to state, so talk with your divorce attorney or look for information on your state website to find out exactly what you will need to do.

Can a child's name be changed to remove a father's last name?

This is where things can get complicated. In some states, this is a difficult and sometimes impossible thing to do. This is especially true if the father plans to remain and play an active role in the child's life.

Special considerations can make the process a little easier. For example, if the child would suffer emotionally or physically from maintaining the father's last name, the court will likely find in your favor.

Note – Successfully removing the father's last name from your child's name will not release the father from any financial obligations that the court has ordered, nor will it void visitation or custody orders.

Something to Remember

Remember that when you change your name legally, you will need to change it on everything. This means that you will have to change it on your driver's license, your social security card, with the state assistance office and with all of the financial institutions that you hold accounts with.

Talk with a divorce attorney, such as those at Blumenauer Hackworth, to learn the best method to go about changing your name, as well as your children's names before you come to any decision.