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Restoring Your Former Name After Divorce


Moving on after divorce can be complicated, with many people struggling to redefine themselves post-marriage. One way that some work through this is by restoring their former (maiden) name, which, in Florida can actually be done through the dissolution process. To learn more about changing your name upon divorce, consider reaching out to a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer, who can walk you through the process.

Requesting a Name Change

Although Florida law allows family law courts to restore a person’s former name as part of a couple’s divorce proceedings, it also requires that these individuals take certain steps. For instance, while an official divorce-related name change can be granted in a couple’s Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, this is only possible when the person who wants to revert to a former name officially requests the change, either in the original divorce petition or in a counter-petition. Furthermore, courts can only restore the name they used immediately prior to the marriage. Anyone who wants to change a name to something besides this prior name will have to take additional steps outside of the divorce process.

Updating Your Information

Once a court grants a person a name change as part of divorce proceedings, he or she will need to take a few more steps, including obtaining a certified copy of the final divorce judgment. This is an important document, as a newly divorced person (who changed his or her name) will need a copy of it to update his or her Social Security card. Other documentation that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will require before it will approve an official name change include: a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued identification card, as well as proof of U.S. citizenship.

Individuals who change their names upon divorce are also required to update their Florida driver’s license within ten days, but only after they have updated their Social Security card. It will also be necessary to let other institutions and agencies know that they have changed their legal name. Banks, for instance, will need this information when changing the name on, or access to, a bank account.

Post-Divorce Name Changes

People who only decide to revert to their maiden names after obtaining a divorce will have to take a different route by filing a petition for a name change and paying any necessary filing fees. The court will also hold a hearing on the matter and require a thorough background check. In these cases, if the change is granted, a couple’s final divorce decree won’t be sufficient for proof of a legal name change. Instead, the person changing his or her name will need a copy of a separate court order, approving the modification.

Call Today for Help Changing Your Name

If you and your spouse have decided to get divorced and you are considering changing your name, you’ll need to take steps right away. To learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.

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