Can I Change My Name After a Divorce in Virginia?
Many women who are going through a divorce wonder whether they can change their name back to their maiden name, and the answer is yes. This can be done whether your divorce is still pending or has been already finalized. The right to change your name back is your decision, and your decision alone. There is no requirement that your ex-spouse, or soon-to-be-ex, consent to your name change. Here’s what you need to know about changing your name after a divorce in Virginia.
Changing Your Name as Part of the Divorce
You can change your name back to your maiden name as part of the divorce process. If you know you want to do so at the time you file for divorce, you will need to include a provision in your divorce complaint requesting that your maiden name be restored. There is a small fee you will have to pay in addition to the filing fee for your divorce complaint. You will also need to provide the court with a name change order separate from your final order of divorce.
Changing Your Name if the Divorce is Already Finalized
Changing your name in conjunction with the pending divorce action is the easiest route to go, but sometimes people don’t make the decision to change until after the divorce is finalized. If you decide to change your name later, then you will have to file a name change petition which is separate from your divorce case. Petitions for a Name Change are filed with the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which you live. Most Virginia circuit courts provide detailed instructions and forms on their websites to assist you with the process.
What Happens After Your Name Change is Approved?
Once the court signs your Name Change Order, you will need to take a certified copy of the Name Change Order (which you can obtain from the circuit court clerk’s office) to your local Social Security Administration office to complete the name change process. After that is completed, be sure to update all of your accounts and legal documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, bank accounts, credit cards, memberships, insurance policies, investment accounts, etc.
Contact our Virginia divorce attorneys for more information.