While anyone can petition the local county court for a name change, there is a simpler way to go about this process while separating from your ex in New York. If you specifically want to go back to your previous name from before the marriage, the change can be included as part of the divorce.
Changing Your Name During a Divorce
Be sure to let your attorney know ahead of time that you want a name change while filing for divorce. Reverting to your pre-marriage surname is less complicated when ordered directly by a judge in the decree rather than going through the normal legal name change process.
If you are already finished with divorce proceedings, it is still possible in some cases to add a name change after the fact by having your attorney request an amendment to the divorce decree. The one drawback is that unlike a standard legal name change, you can’t choose a whole new name altogether as part of the divorce. You can only return to your previous name from before the marriage.
After the court has included a name reversal in your divorce decree, the next step is to make the name change legal by providing the Social Security Administration office with these documents:
- Birth certificate
- Divorce decree copy
- Driver’s license (a state ID or passport can also be used if you don’t drive)
What to Do After Changing Your Name
Simply having your name legally changed isn’t the end of the story, however. You need to let several agencies know about the change to avoid problems in the future. In particular, you should be sure to notify:
- Banks or any financial institutions you do business with
- Insurance companies, such as life or healthcare
- The Department of Motor Vehicles to have your license changed
- Your primary care physician and any specialists you see for medical reasons
- The postal service
- Your child’s school
Get the Legal Help You Need During a New York Divorce
Are you about to go through a divorce, or have you already parted ways with your spouse and need help with a legal name change? Get in touch with Alatsas Law Firm to set up a consultation today.