Divorce marks a big change in a person’s life. As part of marking that change, many women decide to go back to using a previous name or their maiden name once a divorce has been finalized. The good news is that most states, Arizona included, make the process relatively easy. It does, however, involve multiple steps that must be followed as well as some follow-up steps to make sure all of your documentation reflects your new name.
Getting Your Name Changed After Divorce
For most who want their name changed incident to divorce, the best way to do this is to request the name change when you are going through divorce proceedings. You will need to get a request for a name change form from the local Clerk of Courts office and complete it in full. This form can either be submitted with your divorce papers or you can bring it to your divorce hearing to present it to the court. As part of your divorce, the judge can grant your name change. Your divorce decree will act as the official document showing that your name has been legally changed.
If you were unsure about changing your name or waited until after your divorce was finalized to change your name, the process is still fairly easy, but must be properly navigated. You pick up the request for a name change form at your local County Clerk of Court’s office. Complete the form in full. Provide and required supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include something like a copy of your divorce decree. It is also likely that you will need the form notarized before you file it.
Some states require a hearing on a petition to change your name, but not all. Even in states that do not require a hearing, you may still be summoned by the court for a hearing. If summoned, you need to attend the hearing and bring along any necessary paperwork, such as your divorce decree and your birth certificate. Upon verifying your documentation and paperwork, it is likely that a judge will approve your name change and an order of name change will be issued as proof of your legal name change.
Getting court approval for your name change, however, can be the easy part. What follows is a series of working with private institutions and government institutions to get your name changed on all of your identifications, accounts, and other places. The best place to start may be the Social Security Office. To get your name changed on your Social Security card, you need to complete an Application for Social Security Card form and submit it with the necessary supporting documentation, such as your divorce decree, either in person or via mail, to the nearest Social Security office. Once you have submitted the necessary documents, your new Social Security card should arrive in 7 to 10 days.
The next stop you will likely want to make is to your local DMV office to change the name on your driver’s license and state ID. You will be required, once again, to complete the necessary forms and provide the required supporting documentation to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. After that, you can move on to changing your names with your employer, banks, voter’s registration, and other places.
Arizona Family Law Attorney
There are likely even more aspects to divorce than you may have even started to consider. It can be a lot to handle and you do not have to do it all on your own. Reach out to the trusted team at Cohen Family Law for help. Contact us today.