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Changing Your Name After Divorce

Lawyers for Divorce in Cottonwood Heights Utah
Changing Your Name After Divorce

There are a number of different things you can do to make it easier for you to change your last name after a divorce. First of all, if the divorce is not yet final, you can request it in the divorce decree. If you have already been divorced for a while, it may not be too late. You may not need an attorney to assist you with changing your name. Contacting the circuit court in the county or city where you live may be your first step. Make copies of all legal name change documents and keep these stored in a safe place since you will need them to update your other materials. From this point on, you’ll want to update the same documents you did when you got married. To make things easier, ensure that you address yourself a certain way and introduce yourself that way to others, too.

Some may ask for a request for the name change order, such as your bank. Making a list of everyone that you should contact with the update of your name change can make this process easier. This includes employers, creditors, financial institutions, the social security administration, the doctors’ offices, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the passport office, IRS/state tax departments, voter’s registration, insurance providers, your landlord or mortgage holder, utility companies, and family and friends. Your will and all other legal documents should also be updated at this time to reflect the new changes in your life and your fresh start.

Keeping Your Name

If you are going to keep your married name, you need to say so in the divorce decree.

There will be a question that asks if you would like to retain your married name, or be known by your maiden (or former) name. Your husband cannot request your drop his name, regardless of the reason.

It is your legal right to keep your married name, even after your husband has moved on. So if you are asking, “Can I keep my married name when divorced;” yes, you can!

Changing Your Name: The Dos and Don’ts

Changing your name, by marriage, civil partnership, deed poll or after divorce – can be expensive and onerous. Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls and keep costs down:

Changing Your Name after Marriage Or A Civil Partnership

Your marriage or civil partnership certificate does not in any way indicate the surname you’ll have after the ceremony, yet you can use it to prove you have changed your name. To change your surname to your spouse or civil partner’s surname (or to double-barrel your joint surnames) on your passport or driving license you need to fill in the relevant forms requesting the change and present your marriage certificate.

Financial institutions, such as banks and building societies – should also accept your marriage certificate as proof you have taken your partner’s surname if you are a married woman or civil partner. This is not always the case if you are a married man taking your wife’s surname or if you are double-barreling or meshing your surnames. If one of these situations applies to you, you may prefer to change your name by deed poll (which should always be acceptable proof).

Changing Your Name By Deed Poll

A “change of name deed poll” is simply a document that contains the following three declarations:
• I am abandoning my previous name.
• I will use my new name at all times.
• I require all persons to address me by my new name only.

You must sign and date this declaration in both your old and your new name. Your new name must contain both a forename and a surname and be pronounceable, as well complying with other common sense restrictions specified by the Home Office. Two witnesses, who aren’t related to you, must also sign your deed poll and give their name, occupations and addresses.

How Do To Change Your Surname After A Divorce

You have the right to assume whichever name you wish at any point. However, from a legal perspective, when applying for formal documents such as a passport or driving license, or when opening a new bank account, then simply choosing to be known by a different name will not prove sufficient. A formal change of name application must be submitted to. This may sound like an overwhelming proposition, but in truth the process is very straightforward and inexpensive.

But that is not intended to make the process seem any less important. The fact is that it is essential to inform companies and authorities of your new status – it’s one of the many ways in which you might have an extra layer to protect your credit rating. Naturally, not all people wanting to change their surname back to their maiden name are doing so through fear- many divorces are more than amicable, but when the relationship comes to an end, the sharing of an ex-husband’s surname may simply not be desirable. His or her credit rating could impact on yours particularly if you remain at the same address where you lived as a married couple.

Is There Another Way To Change My Surname Back After A Divorce?

Despite the processes laid out above as being fairly straightforward, there are still a number of people going through a divorce that would prefer not to have to wait on yet another decision from the courts. Naturally, many people will simply revert to their maiden name after the divorce, but those people need to be aware that there are an increasing number of institutions who will require legal documentation to support an application.

The good news is that if you are simply reverting to your maiden name after a divorce, then many institutions will accept a copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, decree absolute and a signed declaration that you are reverting your maiden name for all purposes. In the case of civil partnerships, both that certificate along with the final order will be required.

To be clear on this point, the marriage certificate which you are likely to have stored for sentimental purposes is not what you need here. Whilst many people will hold onto their marriage certificates in a safe place, such things can be lost, but that is not a problem. Your more formal marriage certificate is not the sort of document that you are likely to have had framed but the good news is that you can order copies of the certificate Be aware however, that banks, building societies and the Passport Office are constantly imposing new and more stringent security measures, and so it makes sense to not allow something as important as your surname stand in the way of an otherwise straightforward process. An enrolled Deed Poll is your guarantee that you will be able to comfortably change your name back to your maiden name after a divorce, and that you’ll be able to apply for anything from a bank account to a passport without constantly having to dig out an array of certificates that are resting comfortably in the back of a filing cabinet somewhere in your, or your ex spouse’s home.

Can I Change My Surname Back To My Maiden Name Before My Divorce Is Finalised?

The simple answer here is yes. You can enroll for a Deed of Change of Name at any time – your divorce is not a consideration for the Deed Poll Office. However, it is vitally important that you advise all parties – especially your divorce lawyer – that you are doing this. Failure to do so could result in a decree nisi and decree absolute being granted to someone who, from a legal perspective, no longer exists due to a change of name that’s been recognized by the courts, and that could prove to be a very costly mistake!

Do I Have To Revert To My Maiden Name After My Divorce?

There can be any number of reasons why you would not want to revert to your maiden name after a divorce, and the simple answer is that you don’t have to. However, in this instance, it will be necessary to apply for a Deed Change of Name, as the presentation of a marriage certificate and decree absolute will not prove sufficient here.
As we mentioned above, it’s not necessary to wait until a divorce is finalized to apply for a Deed Change of Name, but it is vitally important that all parties involved in your divorce proceedings are notified of your new name, once it has been granted. Indeed, many applicants have the foresight to notify their divorce lawyer at the point at which they’ve applied to change their name.

Naturally, your divorce lawyer is on hand to take you through all of these issues and advise you on the best course of action to change your surname back to your maiden name after a divorce, or to change your name to something entirely different after a divorce as well.

Reverting To Maiden Name

Reverting to a maiden name is common for many women after divorce. But requesting to change your name and actually getting it done can bring up a lot of questions about the process.

Can I make the name change part of the divorce decree? How soon in the divorce process can I change my name? Who do I need to talk to when I’m reverting to maiden name? Find answers from the legal expert to these and other questions below.

Name Changing Cautions

Whatever reason you have for keeping your married name, remember that is your legal right. You should think hard about changing back to your maiden name, because once you are legally divorced, and you change your name by Deed Poll, it will be nearly impossible to change your name back. The main reason being you will no longer have a marriage certificate, but instead a divorce decree.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Married Name After Divorce

After your divorce is finalized, you may be considering all of the changes you’ll need to make in your life. In addition to updating your beneficiary forms and your legal paperwork, such as a power of attorney and driver’s license, you might wish to consider changing your married name. This might seem like an additional hassle, after all of the paperwork and other expenses you’ve had to go through due to ending your marriage. But there are pros and cons when it comes to changing your married name. It is not as difficult or as unusual to change your name as you might think. More women are deciding not to keep their ex-husband’s last name after the divorce.

Ask Yourself If You Should Go Back to Your Maiden Name

Ask yourself the honest question of whether or not you want to back to your maiden name. Many women who have gotten divorced choose to do this and this is fine. However, many women realize that they don’t want to reset their entire social life. Others may feel that changing your name after a divorce is a bigger part of an overall fresh start.

Consider the Benefits of a Clean Break

One of the biggest advantages of updating your name after a divorce is that you can establish a firm break with your former spouse. Just as taking his name when you got married was a signal that you were one unit, legally updating your name back symbolizes that you no longer wish to be connected legally, emotionally, or financially with your ex. It also symbolizes your independence and the fact that the marriage is completely over. There can be something empowering and cathartic about choosing a new name or going back to your maiden name.

Does Your Maiden Name Truly Reflect Who You Are?

Whether you categorize it coming into your own, aging gracefully, or closing this chapter of your life, coming out on the other side of any divorce can be a good time to be proud the new woman that you’ve become. Chances are that you’ll find that you are not the person that you were during the marriage. Just like you could benefit from an upgrade in your wardrobe and a new living situation, you might find that changing your legal name is an opportunity for an emotional makeover.

Con: Causing Confusion in Your Professional Life

A name change can be confusing, which is one reason why more women are thinking about keeping their married name even after the divorce is final. A name change can be especially confusing if you are a lawyer or a doctor with clients or patients who are used to referring to you by the married name. If you are a professional speaker or an actor or have a big network, it can be very problematic to change your name. If you consider that your last name is part of your brand, switching it may not be recommended idea.

Consider Your Children

Many formerly married women have changed back to their maiden name and allowed their children to keep the last name of the former partner. If you have small children, it may be easier to keep the ex-husband’s name so that you and the children can have the same last name. With a rising number of blended families, however, this is often less of an issue.

Fear-Based Reactions

Many of the reasons that a woman may choose to not change her name could be based on fear. If you are afraid that it would be too costly or complicated, you might be surprised to realize that it can be less expensive or as much of a hassle as it was to change your name when you originally got married. If you are concerned about offending your parents, consider talking over the situation with them after you have come to your own decision. Many women are also afraid of change, or afraid that it is unfair to the children.

If you reset your life after a breakup, it can already feel that you’ve gone through a tremendous amount of change. Changing your last name might seem like one more thing you don’t want to do. You don’t have to keep the same last name as your children if you don’t believe that this will affect them in any way.

Can I Keep My Married Name When Divorced?

Each year marriages end in divorce for various reasons. Despite the reason for the divorce, there are many questions the ex-spouses may have. Some women ask, “Can I keep my married name when divorced?” Typically a woman will change her name back to her maiden name, but in some cases a woman may want to keep her married name. There a list of reasons why a woman may want to keep her married name.

Some of those reasons include:
• A woman does not want to go through the hassle of a name change.
• The marriage lasted for decades, and the woman is predominantly known by her married name.
• A women wants to keep the same surname as her children.
• The name is prestigious, and you want to hold on to that.
• For business purposes, such as a pre-established company name.
• Emotional ties. For example, a woman has come into her own since being married.
• Sometimes women cannot let go of their former lives, especially if the woman was not the party who wanted the divorce.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.