After divorce, most people prefer to change their last name back to their maiden name. However, the challenge is how to change your name after divorce.
The truth of the matter is that changing a name is a serious undertaking. This guide will help you to know how to change your name after divorce. You will discover that the process is not as complex as you thought.
How To Change Your Name After Divorce
It is possible to make the experience of changing your name after divorce painless. You can get everything that you need to change your name after divorce in the custom name change kit.
The requirements depend on various things, especially your personal information. You will require several federal documents, state documents, and personal details. Examples of these include passport, social security, driver license, vehicle registration or title, credit cards, bank statements, nursing license, investment accounts and so on. Here is a step by step guide on how to change your name after divorce.
1. Get The Divorce Decree
The divorce decree is the legal document for changing your name. It allows you to resume your maiden or former name and you will use it throughout the process of changing your name after divorce.
Divorces differ from one another and the court issues the divorce decree as the final divorce summary. The scope of the divorce decree is limited and it varies from one state to another.
If you lose your divorce decree, contact the vital records state office for a certified copy. If the divorce decree can’t help you change your name after divorce, you can petition for a court order on change of names. It is still a great solution on how to change your name after divorce.
2. Get A Legal Proof Of Your Previous Name
To change your name, you have to make a connection between the name that you would like to get to and your current last name. You can skip this step if the divorce decree clearly states that you will need to change your last name back to what it used to be. Your old passport or birth certificate provides enough evidence for your previous name.
3. Update Your Name With The SAA (Social Security Administration)
Since you have a proof for your divorce, you should allow the government to know that you will be changing your legal name. To update your name with the SSA, you have to fill the relevant form and drop it at the nearest SSA office.
The documents that you need to provide include proof of name change, proof of identity, proof of citizenship, and your social security card. Non-U.S citizens have special documents that they require to be able to change their name after divorce.
4. Get A New State ID Card Or Driver’s License
You can visit the SSA office in person or submit the form via mail. The response is faster when you take the former route. You need to get the approval of the DMV before you make the next move.
The documents that you need here are proof of name change, proof of identity, proof of citizenship, proof of social security, and proof of state residency. This step is critical if you want to learn how to legally change your last name after divorce.
5. Update Your Passport
You need to update your passport to make it match your new name. If you have any booked reservations, wait until you travel before you update your passport. If the name in the reservation does not match the photo ID, you will be unable to check into the hotel.
Since updating the passport is a correction, you can submit the details by mail. After submitting all the requirements, you can pay an expedition fee to get your new passport faster. It is a simple step when trying to understand how to change your name after divorce.
6. Updating Your Trusted Travelers Programs
After updating your passport, the next thing is to match the membership of PreCheck and Global entry to it. PreCheck and Global entry share a name database and hence your name will automatically change once you pass through the TSA PreCheck.
One thing to note about TSA is that it has been very inconsistent with name changes and hence you need to be patient. It can take then 30 to 90 days to be able to change your details in the database.
7. Update The Voter Registration Information
You have to register your new name in the state where you will be voting if you wish to enjoy your democratic rights. All you need to do is download the National Voter Registration Application form from vote.gov and then mail it back.
8. Update Your New Name With the USPS
The next step is updating your new name with the United States Postal service. When people divorce, most of them change their address and hence need to update with USPS. When you visit moversguide.usps.com, you can make these updates for free.
9. Update New Name With The Employer
You now have to update your employer sponsored benefits and payroll with your new name. This step is crucial when examining how to change your name after divorce.
10. Update All Your Important Financial Accounts
These include your banks, credit cards, mortgage, investments, and insurance. Make sure you update your new name on these important financial accounts.
11. Finish Up With Any Remaining Accounts
This point comes as last when evaluating the whole topic of how to change your name. Look through your credit card statement and checking account for those items that you auto-pay each month. These include your utilities, cell phone, monthly subscription, Internet or TV, email accounts, and loyalty programs to name a few. You have to make sure that all these accounts have your new name after divorce.
There is so much that you can learn from this guide on how to change your name after divorce. Even though the whole process is complex, the good news is that it is doable. You have to make these changes with all the relevant departments, organizations, and accounts to make sure that you don’t strain after the divorce. If you are not sure of what to do, feel free to contact a divorce lawyer to help you with the process.