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How Can I Change My Name After a Divorce?

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Many spouses choose to change their last name to match their new partner’s upon marriage. It is a way to seem unified and show the world that they are now family. If the couple gets divorced, however, it may no longer serve the same purpose. The new name may transform into a painful reminder of the relationship or a string that tethers the spouses together. Under New Jersey Statute 2A:34-21, a court may allow a spouse to resume the use of a name used before the marriage or adopt any surname. If you require assistance during the process of getting a name change after your divorce, seek assistance from a knowledgeable Union County divorce attorney.

How Do I Change My Name Back After My Divorce?

Once you have decided that you wish to change your name either back to your original name or to something new, there are certain steps that need to be taken. The required process can vary depending on the state or jurisdiction you are in so be sure to communicate with your attorney to learn about the requirements needed to properly change your name.

  1. Request a name change simultaneously with your divorce papers and have the judge include a provision legalizing your new name. If you forget or neglect to do so, refer to the following steps.
  2. File a petition with a local court including forms explaining what your name is currently, what you would like to change it to, why you want to change it, and more.
  3. Place an advertisement in the newspaper stating your intention to change your name and send proof of this publication to the court. This is an important step for certain jurisdictions to prove that anyone who might want to object to your intentions can be made aware.
  4. Attend a hearing where you will answer questions from the judge and show proof of the newspaper advertisement.
  5. Once approved, inform the required agencies of your name change. You will need to tell the DMV, Social Security Administration, Department of State, and more to have your legal documents updated.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of changing your name will vary depending on the state or even district you are in. Depending on the way you go about changing your name you could owe nothing or several hundred dollars.

If you file a motion for a name change as part of your divorce decree the judge should include it with no additional fees required. You will not have to file any other motion and can apply for a new social security card for free, bringing your total to $0.

However, if you neglect to request a name change during the divorce proceedings you may have to pay certain associated fees. You may have to pay to file a legal petition, print an announcement, and request changes to documents like your license, passport, car registration, etc. In New Jersey, fees can come to about $200.

Work with a skilled attorney to ensure you are following the requirements of a legal name change.

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Our firm believes that exploring alternatives to litigation can greatly benefit our client. Our firm’s established mediation practice can help you resolve family law issues more efficiently, amicably and at a lower cost. If you are interested in knowing more about our mediation services, contact the firm to discuss your situation.

“This firm and it's team are the best out there, hands down. Robyn Ross helped me through a difficult time. Something that should have been...”

– Nestor –

“Robyn navigated me through a difficult period and explained every piece of the process in great detail along the way. I know in the end...”

– Clarissa –

“Robyn Ross handled my two cases and won both, her passion and expertise was beyond a 5-star rating. She communicated with me through both cases...”

– Abdul –

“Liz represented me throughout a long and difficult divorce process. She was a godsend. Her knowledge, compassion, dedication, and commitment are unparalleled. I can not...”

– Peter –

“The hardest part of going through a divorce or separation is the children. I’m so thankful that I had this firm represent my case. Ross...”

– Paula –

“This is a great counsel team. Very knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. They also make you feel like you are their only client, very attentive!”

– Bettyna J. –

“This firm and it's team are the best out there, hands down. Robyn Ross helped me through a difficult time. Something that should have been...”

– Nestor –

“Robyn navigated me through a difficult period and explained every piece of the process in great detail along the way. I know in the end...”

– Clarissa –

“Robyn Ross handled my two cases and won both, her passion and expertise was beyond a 5-star rating. She communicated with me through both cases...”

– Abdul –

“Liz represented me throughout a long and difficult divorce process. She was a godsend. Her knowledge, compassion, dedication, and commitment are unparalleled. I can not...”

– Peter –

“The hardest part of going through a divorce or separation is the children. I’m so thankful that I had this firm represent my case. Ross...”

– Paula –

“This is a great counsel team. Very knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. They also make you feel like you are their only client, very attentive!”

– Bettyna J. –

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