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Changing one’s name after divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2012 | Property Division |

We’ve all either experienced or known someone who has gotten a divorce. Thus, we all also know that in an increasingly gender equal society, the terms of divorces are also changing. The way property division works, alimony awarded and child custody determined is a completely different process in this new world, where most divorcing women are in the full-time workforce, making as much money, if not more than, their divorcing spouse.

When it comes to the division of property obtained during marriage, courts are diving assets more equally, instead of giving more to the female spouse as was more often done even only ten years ago. Something else being shed stems from a timeless tradition, but is changing with the times as well- one’s name. The vast majority of American women, including Californian women, take their husband’s name in marriage. However, more and more women are choosing to lose their husband’s name in the event of divorce.

A recent article offers some advice as to how to change your name after divorce in the most efficient and least time consuming manner. The legal process is not as involved as one might assume. In fact, the final divorce decree can include a clause about changing one’s name back to a maiden name other previously held name. This is by far the easiest way to legally change your name during a divorce and it should cost nothing at all.

However, if one wants to change her name entirely, it must be done a different way. In such a case, a petition to change one’s name must be obtained in California. On top of the legal name changing procedure, there are also bank accounts, home ownership and social security identification that must be updated.

The most difficult items to change are one’s driver’s license and social security ID with the social security administration. After that, the rest of the items to be changed should be easier. However, as more and more institutions are increasing security in the face of identity fraud threats, the more difficult it has become to change a name on any account. Considering the complicated process, consulting a family law attorney is a wise decision in order to ensure your name change is done properly.

Source: Washington Times, “What’s in a Name; Changing Your Name After Divorce,” Myra Fleischer, Aug. 27, 2012


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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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