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Should I change my name after divorce? (And how do I do it?)

| Aug 13, 2020 | Divorce

A lot can change when people divorce, from living situations to financial resources. Often, these changes are inevitable. But not all changes are necessary.

For instance, you may or may not want to change your name after divorce. Whether you do this or not depends on your wishes and circumstances, but it can help to consider some pros and cons of name changes.

Benefits of a name change

People who change their names often do so to regain their sense of individuality and shed association with an ex. This could be particularly important for people who were either married for a short time or went through a very contentious split.

You may also want to change your name if reverting to a maiden name or another name simply sounds better to you. People also wish to change their names back to a family name if it holds significance or value.

Drawbacks of a name change

Changing names after divorce is not for everyone. People often keep their names if they have kids and want to share the same last name as their children.

Changing a name can also create professional confusion or setbacks. If you have an established reputation or a business in your existing name, changing it may be unwise.

And despite what people might believe, changing your name is not going to give you a completely fresh start. For instance, you should not change your name in an attempt to evade debt collectors or support payments.

Changing your name in Texas

In most cases, a name change is part of your divorce decree. However, if you decide to change your name after a divorce, you will need to file a petition with the courts.

In either situation, you will probably need to update several other accounts and documents. This can include:

    • Social Security card
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
    • Employer documents and agreements
    • Email addresses
    • Bank accounts
    • Credit cards
    • Car loans
    • Social media
    • Health care accounts
    • Estate planning documents

Again, whether you change your name or not is a personal decision. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of doing so carefully, and make sure you update any other documentation and accounts accordingly.