Often, after a woman is divorced, she wants no connection to her former spouse, including their last name. But, there is a lot more to reverting back to a maiden name than simply going by it. There is a lot of red tape to cut through. For starters, you will need to have a provision. You cannot legally change your last name without a court order. If your name isn’t changed in the divorce, you will need to have a separate proceeding to take care of this. Here are some other things you need to think about when reverting to your maiden name following a divorce.
1. Using Your Maiden Name while Separated
You may use your maiden name while you are separated, but you will need to go through the court proceeding before you can have it changed legally on identification, and documents. There will be nothing legal you can do about a name changed until you have had it taken care of by the courts.
2. When You Can Take Back Your Name
At any time during or after the divorce proceedings, you can start the process to take back your maiden name. You will need the court order to change it on passports, social security cards, etc. If you do not have the decree, you will need to obtain a copy in order to begin the process.
3. Changing Your Name After Divorce
As previously stated, you can change your last name at any time. If you choose to wait until after the divorce, you will need to have proof of your divorce. You can start with your marriage certificate. Next, change your name on your driver’s license. You can then use this identification to get everything else switched to your maiden name.
4. Changing Your Name During the Divorce
You can have the name change written right into your divorce decree, so you don’t have to bother with a separate proceeding. If you plan on reverting back to your maiden name, this is probably the best time to take care of everything, and then you won’t have to worry about it later on.
5. Change Your Resume
“Even if you haven’t changed your name legally yet, if you are going by your maiden name, it is a good idea to change it on your resume. If you get a job, you can always explain to your employer that your paperwork has to be under your married name for the time being until you have the proper court decree,” suggests Natalie Severt, a career expert from Zety.
6. Using a Different Name
If you want to use a name that is different from both your maiden name and your married name, you will need to speak with your attorney. In most cases, you can keep your married name or revert to your maiden name. If you want something different, that is a whole other proceeding.
7. Maiden Name Isn’t in the Decree
If your name change was approved by the judge during the actual divorce, but it is not written in the decree, you will need to have this oversight corrected. Simply contact the court clerk, explain the situation, and they should be able to correct the problem so you can start the name changing process.
8. Where Your Name Needs to be Changed
If you are going to change your last name on one thing, you need to change it on everything. Legally, you can only go by one or the other, and all of your identification, documents, etc. need to show the name you are currently going by. Also, once you change one, you need to change the rest as soon as possible.