How Do I Change My Name After a Divorce?

A divorce is a big life change and can affect everything from your finances and living situation to your identity. Many people choose to take their spouse’s name when they marry. If this is you, you may be thinking about whether you want to keep your married name or revert to your pre-marriage name after your divorce. This is a personal choice, and there is no right or wrong answer. 

Sometimes people who have been married a long time may be so closely identified with their married name that they choose to keep it, or they may wish to continue having the same last name as their children, while others are ready to step back into their original name again. The good news is that changing your name during or after a divorce in Missouri is a fairly simple process.

Changing Your Name During a Divorce in Missouri 

If you have not yet started the divorce process or are still going through it, reverting to your maiden or pre-marriage name should be a quick and streamlined process. In fact, all you have to do is let your divorce lawyer know that you want to change your last name during the divorce.

The Missouri court documents actually allow the name-change process to happen in tandem with the divorce, simply asking on one of the divorce forms whether you would like to change your name. A lawyer who is aware of your desire can make this change with minimal effort along with all the other arrangements for the divorce. 

Changing Your Name After a Divorce in Missouri 

If your divorce proceedings have already concluded, not to worry. There is no time limit on changing your name in Missouri, so even if you are not ready to commit to the change at the time of the divorce or were not aware it was an option you can still make that change. Changing your name after a divorce is not as streamlined of a process, but it is still fairly straightforward.

The most effective way to navigate this process is with the help of an attorney. You or your lawyer can file a petition with the county that you live in requesting a name change. You will then be issued a court date, attend the hearing, and receive an order from the court (hopefully granting your request). Within 20 days of that hearing, you must publish three notices of your name change in a public newspaper so that it becomes a public record. Within 10 days of the last notice, send proof of all 3 notices to the court. You should then receive a certified order for a name change. 

Things to Do in Missouri After Your Name Change 

After your name change is approved, there are a number of things to do in Missouri. First, it is important to change your name on your Missouri driver’s license and voter registration card. You must also change your name on your U.S. Passport, Social Security card, and any other legal documents. It is also necessary to contact all three major credit bureaus and update your name with them. 

Contact a Resourceful Missouri Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are considering divorce or would like assistance with a name change, contact the experienced Missouri divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Firm, LLC today to schedule a consultation and find out how our attorneys can help you move forward with your life.