C is for “Changing” Your Name after Divorce

 

Going through a divorce is not easy but now that it is final…Go ahead and celebrate! You’re about to begin your new life, one of which you are in control.

A question you may have asked yourself is, “Do I take back my maiden name or do I keep my ex-husbands name”? This question may take a bit of soul searching. If you decide to make The Change you may find returning to your former self is a positive step toward a fresh start.

This process differs from state to state, you may want to consult with your attorney and declare the change in your divorce decree. If you weren’t ready at the time of divorce to change your name, you can go to the county clerk’s office or download the applicable forms for your state.

Once you complete your name change, you can begin making changes on all identification and personal records. Below is a list of places to help you start this process.

  • Department of Motor Vehicle – this may be a good place to start, you will now have evidence of your new name with a photo.
  • Social Security Card – It is best to call ahead and make an appointment or you can apply by mail. For additional information and forms go to the Official Social Security website.
  • Employers – do give your employer prior notice before the change.
  • Passport – You can do this by mail. Go to the U.S. Department of State Website for your passport forms and information.
  • Banks – don’t forget safe deposit boxes, stock certificates, bonds, etc.
  • Credit Cards – includes bank credit cards, department store credit cards, debit cards, etc.
  • Utility Companies – phone, gas, water, electricity, cable, etc.
  • Insurance Companies – life, homeowners, auto, umbrella, etc.
  • Post Office – and mail carrier
  • Car Titles – car registration
  • Professional Licenses – Federal, State and local
  • Email Address – assuming your married name was used as your email address.
  • Memberships – gyms, frequent flyer programs, library cards, etc.
  • Legal Documents – Wills, trusts, Power of Attorney and all other legal documents.
  • Social Media Accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc.

The above list is to get you started and it is not prioritized. You may wish to put them in the order that is most important to you. Keep in mind this a process that takes time and patience. Please consult with your attorney for additional suggestions and resources while making these changes.

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About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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