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How to Change Your Name During or After a Divorce 

Posted on April 18, 2024

Individuals who are filing for divorce or who have completed the process may wish to change their name. If you would like to do so, there are several steps to take in New York. This is a legal process that our divorce attorney can help you with if you would like to streamline the process. A New York City divorce lawyer from the Law Offices of Vivien I. Stark can help in this situation.

Using Your Former Name

One of the options available is to use your former name. If you wish to take your maiden name back, you can do so during the divorce proceeding. The court will make this a component of the divorce process for you.

The court cannot change your name to something entirely new during the divorce process, but it can revert your name back to your maiden name as a part of the process. To do this, simply make a formal request that your name be changed back to your maiden name by the court when you file for dissolution of your marriage. The judge will order a legal name change for you at that time.

Changing Your Name After Your Divorce Is Finalized

The process is a bit different if you wish to change your name after your final divorce decree occurs. You will need to petition the court for a legal name change. This requires filing a request, paying a filing fee, and then, potentially, appearing before the court to request the name change. Most of the time, changing your name is not difficult, and the court will approve the process. It costs a bit more to go through the process this way rather than changing it during the divorce.

The process typically takes only one hearing to complete. Our team can help you process this request formally.

What to Do After Your Name Change

Once you change your name after a divorce, the next step is to ensure that you update all legal documents to ensure you are in full compliance. This involves numerous steps to update:

  • Your identification through the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Your name with the Social Security Administration
  • All legal documents from your bank
  • Your employer and all contracts you are a part of through your employment
  • ·Your credit card accounts

This is a legal process that must be done properly to ensure that you meet all legal compliance requirements. For example, your Social Security card, passport, and identification must be in your correct, current name. If you try to use these documents with your old name, it may lead to identification mistakes. Without accurate and legally binding name changes, you could be at risk of confusion with your employer, bank, or credit card issuers.

Changing your name is a big decision, but it often makes the most sense for those who have been in a marriage for a short time. If you have been married for a long time, you can still pursue this process. It may be more challenging to change all of your documents. With the help of your attorney, you can minimize those risks.

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