How to Change Your Name as Part of a Divorce
The simplest way to change your name is to include the request as part of your petition for divorce. If you request, the name change can be included in your final divorce decree. This decision can be made at any time from when your case is filed until it your divorce decree is finalized, giving you time to consider your options.
Changing your name during the legal process of divorce is relatively easy, as you simply need the approval of your judge and a bit of legal paperwork to move forward with the alteration. Once your name change has been approved and documented, you will need to alert a number of different organizations, companies, and other entities to the change.
Once you have your certified order confirming that your name change has been recorded by the court, you can begin the process of converting all of your important documents to your new name. This may include your driver’s license or state identification card, passport, birth certificate, social security card, bank accounts and credit cards, and property titles.
Name Change Checklist After Divorce
Changing your name after divorce can be the symbol of a new start for many women (of any age) – whether you decide to revert to your birth name, whether you choose an entirely new name, or whether you remarry.
If you wait to make a change until after your divorce is complete, there are some extra steps you’ll need to complete. The exact procedures and forms may vary based on your state and county of residence. In Washington State, you’ll need to complete the following:
- Complete a Petition for Name Change form
- File your completed form with the county clerk
- Pay a fee (usually under $200, but check online for current prices)
- After your completed petition has been reviewed and approved by a judge, you will receive a certified copy of the order that officially changes your name (you may purchase more certified copies for an additional fee).
Below is a list of places, institutions, organizations, and documents that may require your attention after your official name change has been completed.
- Social Security Card
- Driver’s License, Car Title, and Registration
- Property Titles
- Post Office and P.O. Box
- Checking Accounts (including checks and ATM card)
- Savings Accounts, CDs, and Money Market Accounts
- Credit Cards
- Retirement Accounts and 401K
- Investment Accounts and IRAs
- Mortgages & Loans
- Voter Registration
- Employer (email address, work plate, business cards, websites)
- Deeds & Trusts
- Life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Homeowner’s Insurance
- Renter’s Insurance
- Will & Other Legal Contracts
- Medical and Dental Records
- Medical and Dental Offices
- Medical and Dental Insurance
- Utility Companies
- Cell Phone Company
- Cable / Internet Provider
- Club Memberships
- Personal Email Addresses and Social Media Accounts
Intentionally inform your friends and family of your exciting news.
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