After Divorce Name Change

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1887 opens with discussion of restoration of former names to the service member and military spouse (or after divorce name changes), if so desired.

If you know someone with a pending divorce, you might remind them that should they wish to return to their maiden name, there is less cost and paperwork if the language declaring the name change is included in the divorce decree. When included, the divorce decree acts as back-up for name-change forms such as Social Security, IRS 8822, Passport, Postal address, state driver’s license, deeds, insurance, credit cards. (Realize that if you sign a court order to change your name, you are now legally obligated to do so.)

If name change is important to you, then don’t forget about the kids. Changing the children’s last names might be added to your discussion list of pending divorce issues.

Top 3 Reasons to Change Your Name after Divorce

  1. You want no reminders of the marriage, especially not every time you sign your name.
  2. You think it will help you feel like you are starting anew.
  3. You see it as part of the acceptance or recovery process.

Top 3 Reasons Not to Change Your Name after Divorce

  1. The paperwork and cost are just too much trouble. You have more important things to spend time on.
  2. You’ve had it for ‘x’ number of years and people just know you as Mr. or Mrs. (last name).
  3. If you change your name after divorce, your children’s friends will still call you Mr. or Mrs. (child’s last name). Do you really want to have to correct their friends? When you say, “Please call me…,” you are really saying, Ï’m divorced, please call me ….” How will your child feel?

Changing Your Name after Finalized Divorce

Don’t interpret the above discussion to say that you cannot change your name after divorce. You can. Run a Google search for your state with the words ‘name change’ and follow the steps required.

If your divorce decree did not order (authorize) a name change, a little more paperwork is required.

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Changing Name After Divorce – Horror Story

The language of Oklahoma Senate Bill 1887 reminds me of a Fall 2011 article where a father wanted his ex-wife to stop using his name after divorce.

I found Can I Please Have My Name Back? a bit petty and wondered if the article was intended to be humorous.

However, a quick Google search will reveal that couples should not ignore the importance of making a decision concerning change of name after divorce. Consider the following:

Did you keep your ex-spouse’s last name after divorce? Why or why not?


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