Getting divorced is not easy and getting through the procedural steps to obtain the divorce judgment can be an enormous relief. Once the divorce is final, you can focus on your future and the next chapter of yourlife, whatever it may bring. For some people, part of starting this new chapter includes letting go of all that might tie them to their ex-spouse, including their names.
Changing your name after divorce is a personal decision, and it is not something everyone does. However, if you do want to change your name, then be sure you do so in the following places.
- Your divorce decree – One of the easiest ways to restore your pre-marriage name is to do so in your divorce decree. However, you can do it after your divorce is final by filing a petition with the courts. You can discuss your options with your attorney.
- Critical IDs – This includes your driver’s license, Social Security card and passport. Changing your name on these documents first can make it easier to change your name in other places.
- Bills – Change your name on your bills like utilities, cellphone plans and credit cards.
- Titles – If you have a car title, for instance, you will want to make sure it is in your current name. This can make it easier to sell and/or register the vehicle.
- Financial accounts – You will want to update your financial accounts, as well. This might include bank accounts, retirement plans, loans and investments. You will also want to get new cards and checks with your current name on them.
- Memberships – If you have a gym membership or a Netflix account, or if you belong to a country club, you can contact those parties to update your membership information with your new name. This can prevent confusion and unwelcome reminders associated with an old name.
- Emails and online accounts – Changing your name online can be crucial in terms of staying connected. Think about your social media accounts, your email addresses, and professional networking sites.
Deciding whether to change your name after divorce is an important decision, and it can be one that shapes who you are as you begin the next chapter of your life. Just remember: every person is different, and there is no right or wrong decision. There is only what is right for you.