Seeing as how you are familiar with the divorce process, it should be no surprise that you will need to keep a certified copy of your Final Decree of Divorce handy.
The reason for this is that you most likely asked for 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 certificate.
Check your Divorce Decree before proceeding further
It is relatively common 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 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 could always amend your divorce petition if 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 to facilitate changing your name on your Social Security card. To change the information on your card, you must provide the government with documents to prove your identity, support the change you are requesting and establish the reason for the difference.
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 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 documents and then give you a certificate showing that Social Security has approved your name change request. The certificate is essential as you can request other name changes on various documents while you wait to 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 to is the Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Public Safety offices 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, 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 before 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. 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 bright as your Title Company may want to include a portion of the Decree with your closing documents. Even if you never plan to sell the house, it is wise to have your ex-spouse's name removed for no other reason than the emotional closure it can provide you after the divorce has been concluded.
Questions about steps to take after your divorce has concluded? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today.
Thank you for showing an interest in today's blog topic and the discussion we had. If you have any unanswered questions in our blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week in which your questions can be answered.
Our licensed 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 various family law issues and look forward to hearing from you to discuss your legal matter.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Texas Family Law Courts: Protective Orders and Name Changes
- Can I Add My Dad's Name to My Birth Certificate If He is Dead?
- What is the procedure for an adult to change their name in Texas?
- How Do I Change My Child's Last Name and Add My Name to the Birth Certificate in Texas?
- How Do I Get my name or my soon-to-be Ex-Spouse's Name off the Mortgage in a Texas Divorce?
- How do I change my child's name in Texas?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- How can I change my name in Texas when I get married or Divorced?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
- Critical Elements of a Divorce for persons over the age of 50
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.