One of the most common questions that clients ask our Las Vegas divorce attorneys is how they can change their names after a divorce. For many people who took their spouses’ names during a marriage, reclaiming their old names is an important part of moving on and letting go of their old marriages. Divorcees can change their names both during and after their divorce, and in both cases it is a relatively simple process.
When Should You Change Your Name after a Divorce?
Some people who are getting divorced are torn on whether or not they should change their name. If you are having trouble deciding whether or not you should change your name, consider the following:
- Do you have children? – Some parents don’t revert to their previous name because they don’t want to have a different surname than their children. While no parent should feel like they are obliged to keep their married name, it is worth considering how a name change might impact your children, and whether or not you having the same name as them is more important than discarding your name from a previous marriage.
- Are there professional considerations? – For divorcees with a well-known name in their professional industry, whether or not to change their name is as much a professional consideration as it is a personal one. If changing your name creates an awkward professional situation or the cost of changing advertising, business cards, and other business material is too high, keeping your married name might be the better option.
- Do you prefer one name to the other? – In some cases, divorcees don’t revert to a previous surname simply because they prefer their married name to their maiden name. If you prefer your married name, there is no reason not to keep it.
If you believe you might want to change your name during or after a divorce, make sure that your divorce decree gives you the option of changing back to a previous name.
How to Change Your Name
Changing your name after a divorce is a relatively simple process:
- As mentioned above, make sure that your divorce decree allows you to revert to your maiden/unmarried name.
- The documents to change your name can be found at the county clerk’s office, and will be titled “Ex-Parte Application For Restoration to Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order” or other similar title, depending on your state. Be sure to fill out the form in black ink.
- To complete the paperwork, you will also need your divorce case number and stamped petition, the date the judgment of dissolution was officially filed with the court, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
- On the section of the paperwork that asks for the name of the attorney or party filing the request, enter your name and address.
- When the document asks for the names of the people in the dissolved marriage, be sure to correctly specify who was the Petitioner and who was the Respondent.
- In the sections where it asks for your new name, be sure to print neatly and clearly so that there are no mistakes when the request is processed.
- Sign the document using your current (married) name.
- Submit the request and the envelope to the clerk; you may be provided evidence of the name change at the county clerk’s office, or it may be mailed to you later.
- Until your name change is officially processed, you may sign documents using either your married name or your new name; if you sign with your new name, write “aka” before your signature until it has been officially changed.
For more information on changing your name and other divorce issues, contact McFarling Law Group today at 702-565-4335.