If you are seeking to change your legal name after the conclusion of your
divorce then you are in luck. Today’s blog post from the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan will focus on that topic.
Seeing as how you are familiar with the divorce process then it should
come as no surprise that you will need to keep a certified copy of your
Final Decree of Divorce handy. The reason for this is because you most likely asked for a your
name to be changed as a part of your divorce. You can request that it
be changed to any name you would like as long as it is not to avoid creditors
or criminal prosecution. Your driver’s license or other photo identification
will be necessary to initiate most name changes as well as your birth
Check your Divorce Decree before proceeding further
It is fairly commonly for a woman to request a
name change in conjunction with a divorce. It can be an unwanted reminder of a marriage
that did not work in the long term. The name change will likely be towards
the end of the document. If your divorce is not yet final make sure that
you have your attorney request a name change at the outset of your case.
If this was not done you can always amend your petition for divorce as
long as you are not within thirty days of your trial date.
Assuming that your name change request was granted and included in your
Final Decree of Divorce then you will need to inform whatever government
agency of the legal change in your name. Let’s go through some of
the more frequently asked about places where your name change will need
to be acted upon
Social Security Card
You will need to fill out a form called “SS-5” through the
Social Security Administration in order to facilitate to changing of the
your name on your Social Security card. To change the information on your
card you must provide the government with documents in order to prove
your identity, support the change you are requesting and establish the
reason for the change.
For example, your name change request requires you to provide a copy of
your Divorce Decree which shows your new and old name in use. A driver’s
license will also be needed in order to verify your identity. Once you
have the required documents you can head over to any Social Security office
with the completed form.
Once you are in the office the folks working there will review your personal
documents and then give to you a certificate showing that your name change
request has been approved by Social Security. The certificate is important
as you can request other name changes on various documents while you wait
to actually get your new social security card which bears your updated name.
Getting a Driver’s License with your new name imprinted
Another place that as a recently divorced person you may want to go is
the Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Public Safety offices
in order to get a new Driver’s License. It’s almost as American
as apple pie to make fun of the long lines and longer waiting times at
these offices but unfortunately you cannot request a new Driver’s
License by phone or via the internet. A typical wait time to get your
new driver’s license is approximately six weeks.
Changing your name on bank accounts
If you have checking or savings accounts at a bank or credit union then
you will likely want to have your name updated on these accounts quickly
after your divorce. Your Final Decree of Divorce (typically a certified
copy) is all you will likely need to get a name change done.
Changing the name on the Deed to your home
Sort of on a separate issue, I wanted to touch on changing the name on
the deed to your home. Suppose that you were awarded the family home in
your divorce case and you would like to have your ex-spouse’s name
removed. Fortunately there is a process that your attorney can help you
complete prior to your divorce’s conclusion.
You will need to have a
Special Warranty Deed executed which, after being signed by both you and your ex-spouse, can
be filed with the County or District clerk in the county where you reside.
This way your ex-spouse will no longer be listed as a person with an ownership
interest in the home. Typically the Special Warranty Deed arrangement
is spelled out in the Divorce Decree itself. This way you can always seek
to enforce the terms of the Decree should your ex-spouse for some reason
never get around to executing the Special Warranty Deed as instructed
in the Decree.
If you seek to sell your home in the future this is an important step to
undertake. Furthermore, keeping a certified copy of your Divorce Decree
handy is smart as your Title Company may want to include a portion of
the Decree with your closing documents. Even if you never plan on selling
the house it is smart to have your ex-spouse’s name removed for
no other reason than the emotional closure it can provide to you after
the divorce has been concluded.
Questions about steps to take after your divorce has concluded? Contact
the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today
Thank you for showing an interest in today’s blog topic and the discussion
we had. If you have any questions that went unanswered in our blog post
please do not hesitate to
Law Office of Bryan Fagan. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week in which your questions
can be answered.
family law attorneys represent clients across southeast Texas and we would be honored
to do the same for you and your family. We provide top notch representation
to our clients on a variety of family law issues and look forward to hearing
from you to discuss your legal matter.