Changing your last name after marrying is tricky subject for many married couples. Your name is part of what defines your identity, and making a change, even after a happy occasion such as marriage can still be troubling for many people. After a divorce, different emotions play a factor into deciding to make a change.
When Can I Legally Change My Name After Divorce?
You might be surprised to find out that you can change your name either immediately or wait for a later time. The decision is up to what is right for you. Ultimately, the only difference is time and a fee due if your name is not changed during the divorce proceeding.
Requirements for Changing Your Name During a Divorce Proceeding
The request for your name change requires a few necessities in order to be fulfilled. After being separated for 12 months, North Carolina allows married couples to file for divorce. This is the first requirement.
If you wish to change your name as soon as your divorce is finalized, then the next step is to make sure that the request for legal name change is included in the divorce complaint. At this time, your request for name change is a petition as part of the divorce decree and does not require a fee. If all your files are in order and proper procedure has been followed, your judge will allow the name change as part of your divorce relief. This is key. Your name change is not automatic. You are only “allowed” to change your name, but it is up to you to make the necessary changes on all your legal documents.
Types of Name Changes
Once you have been granted approval to change your name, you have a few options and must choose between these specific options as they apply to you.
1. maiden name
2. name of a deceased husband (death certificate needed)
3. name of a former husband who is the father of your children if they have that last name
Waiting to Change Your Name
Changing your name at a later date is perfectly acceptable if you aren’t quite ready to make that change during the divorce. You can request a change form from the Office of the Clerk of Court for your county. A small fee is due at the time of submission.
Documents You Will Need to Change Your Name
Valid photo ID
Completed form from Clerk of Court
Update Your Identification
Don’t forget to update your identification. This is important to make sure you don’t have problems with travel and bill payments. You are required to report your name change to the Social Security Administration and the NC Department of Transportation and DMV.
Social Security Card
Vehicle registration and titles
Here are some helpful resources for your NC name change.
Contact a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer
Our Raleigh divorce law firm is available for consultation regarding a legal name change. Give our attorney’s a call at 919-301-8843 in with questions about your divorce case. We are ready to provide you with consultation.