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How to Change Your Last Name after a Boca Raton Divorce

Whether or not to continue using your married name after a divorce or revert to your maiden name is a personal decision. Some women choose to keep their married name because they want to share the same last name as their child (and avoid being constantly asked if they are the step-mother or nanny), others have established careers using their married name, while others simply don’t want to go through the hassle. For marriages of short duration, or those not involving children, many women choose to revert to their maiden name. Whatever the reason, how can a woman change her last name following a divorce?

Reverting to Maiden Name after Boca Raton Divorce

If you choose to use your maiden name following a divorce, you can do so as part of the divorce proceedings with minimal hassle. Simply request in the divorce pleadings that you wish to use your maiden name once the divorce is finalized, and the court will include it in the final order. No special pleadings, requirements or court hearings are required.

If you choose to revert to your maiden name after the divorce is finalized, you will need to file a formal petition with the court and must swear that the requested name change is not for an illegal purpose or to avoid creditors or other judgments. A hearing is also required, as well as payment of a filing fee. Reverting to your maiden name does not require that you submit to a fingerprint and background check; those would be required only if you change your name to something else.

Regardless of whether the name change is part of the divorce proceedings or done at a later date, getting the court order is just the first step in the process. You are responsible for notifying government organizations, financial institutions, utilities, and anybody else that your name has been changed.

The first step in the process is to change your name with the Social Security Administration and get a new Social Security card. To change your name with the Social Security Administration you must provide:

  • Your current Social Security card;
  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate;
  • A current driver’s license or government issued ID; and
  • A certified copy of the order granting your name change.

Once you have a new Social Security card, you can then change the name on your Florida driver’s license or other state-issued identification card. With these documents, you are then able to legally begin using your new name. Important agencies that you want to notify of the name change include:

  • DMV (to update title and registration);
  • Checking, savings, stock and brokerage accounts;
  • Credit cards;
  • Mortgage and other loans;
  • Deed to home;
  • Utilities;
  • Retirement accounts and pension plans, and;
  • Health, life, home and/or car insurance policies;

You will need to check with each specific organization to determine whether there is a fee involved with changing your name. Financial institutions normally do not charge anything; changing your name on the title to your home or vehicle may require a filing fee. Your attorney can discuss with you whether changing your name on these documents is necessary.

Boca Raton Divorce Attorneys

There are many housekeeping issues to take care of following a divorce, particularly if you choose to revert to your maiden name. The Boca Raton family law attorneys at Schwartz l White can help make sure you tie up all loose ends. Our divorce attorneys have more than 50 years’ combined experiencing helping residents of Boca Raton and the surrounding area during their divorce. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us today at 561.391.9943, or complete our online contact form, to schedule an appointment today.

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