Can I Get my Maiden Name Back?
It is common for women who take their husbands’ names to want to change them back after a divorce. It is a way to reclaim your remarriage identity and may help you to move forward with your new life.
The emotional strain of dividing a family makes divorce proceedings complex and difficult. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through these challenges, including changing your last name.
At Skillern Firm, our experienced family law attorneys are prepared to help you with any family law matter. We will guide you through your divorce and help you to change your maiden name so that you can begin to look forward.
Our team truly cares about what you are going through, and whether your case requires negotiation or litigation, we will do what’s best for you to help you reach the best possible resolution.
Arrange a consolation with a member of our team today at 936-213-8479.
How A Divorce Attorney Can Support A Divorce
Separating two lives that have become so deeply intertwined is a highly emotional and stressful process. Changing your married name is just one small part of it. That is why it is important to have the support and guidance of an attorney who has your best interests at heart.
It is rare for divorcing spouses to agree on all issues, and the outcome of your divorce decree will have a massive impact on your future. It is important that your rights are protected and your interests considered.
We will help guide you through all matters relating to your divorce, including child custody, property division, and spousal support. We will use negotiation where possible but will always be prepared to litigate on your behalf to protect your rights.
How Do I Get My Maiden Name Back in Texas?
Here is a step-by-step guide to restoring your maiden name in Texas. Once you have your divorce decree, you will need to inform government agencies and businesses. Your family law attorney can help you through each stage to ensure that everything runs as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
Step 1 – Start The Divorce Process
It is possible to reinstate your name as part of your divorce. However, this does not happen automatically. Instead, you must request it as part of your divorce petition waiver or answer.
Your divorce decree will serve as your legal name change document, and once your divorce is finalized, you will have your maiden name back. It is only possible to restore your maiden name; you cannot choose a new name during this process.
If you are already divorced, or it is too late to request a name change, then you can file for a court-ordered name change.
Step 2 – Update Your Name with the Social Security Administration (SSA)
Once your divorce has been finalized, you need to let the government know that you are changing your legal name. You do that by filling out Form SS-5 and submitting it either by mail or at your nearest SSA office and paying the filing fee.
You are required to submit the following documents:
- Form SS-5
- Your original Social Security Card
- Proof of name change, either your divorce decree or court order
- Proof of citizenship, such as a valid passport or copy of your birth certificate
- Proof of your identity such as your driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID card
Once you have alerted the SSA, you will receive your new Social Security card in the mail about two weeks later. They will also notify the IRS of your name change.
Step 3 – Get a New Driver’s License or ID Card
Your next task is to get a new driver’s license. If you visited the SSA office in person, then you will need to wait at least 24 hours before going to the DMV. Or if you submitted information to the SSA via mail, then you will need to wait until you receive your new Social Security card.
You might be able to book an appointment with your local DMV online, or you may have to show up and wait to be seen. Either way, you will need to bring the following documents with you:
- A copy of your divorce decree or court order as proof of name change
- Your new Social Security card or your old Social Security card and the receipt the SSA gave you to verify your name change
- Proof of your identity, such as your current driver’s license or ID card
- Proof of citizenship, such as your passport
- Two documents that prove your state residency, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or mortgage statement (both documents must have your full name and address on them)
Step 4 – Update Your Passport
Now you need to update your passport. However, if you have any existing travel plans booked in your old name, then you should wait until after your travels to update your details. If your name does not match any tickets or reservations, then you may be prevented from boarding your plan or checking into your hotel.
Updating your passport can be done via mail. If you have a valid passport that was issued less than 12 months ago, then you’ll need to file Form DS-82. Or if your passport is more than 12 months old, then you will need Form DS-5504. Alternatively, if your passport has expired for five years or more, you are applying for your first passport, you will need Form DS-11.
You will need to mail the following documents:
- The correct form
- A passport photograph
- The applicable fees
Your new passport will take 6-8 weeks to arrive.
Step 5 – Update Your Voter Registration Information
Your new name will need to be registered with your state in order for you to vote. You can update your name easily by visiting vote.gov or by downloading a National Voter Registration Application and sending it in the mail.
Step 6 – Tell Your Employer
Once you have a photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license, you can contact your HR department and let them know about your legal name change. They will ensure that your payroll information and any employer benefits, such as healthcare, are in your new name.
Step 7 – Update Your Name with the USPS
Following a divorce, you may also be looking to move address, which is why it is important to update the USPS. You can update your name online at moversguide.usps.com.
Step 8 – Update Your Financial Accounts
Now you will need to update all of your financial accounts, such as:
- Mortgage – You may need to call their customer service
- Credit Card – You may be able to change your name online, or you may need to call customer service
- Banks – You may need to visit a branch with your divorce decree or court order and photo ID
- Insurance – Any insurance policies you have out that are not employee-sponsored will need to be changed
- Investments – Any investments you have that are not employee-sponsored will also need to be changed
Step 9 – All Remaining Accounts
You may also choose to change any remaining accounts such as
- Monthly subscriptions
- Cell phone
- Utilities such as electric and gas
- Utilities (electric, gas, water, garbage, etc.)
- Loyalty programs
Can I Get My Maiden Name Back? FAQ
What do I do if my final divorce decree doesn’t specify my maiden name?
You may need to petition the court for a name change separate from your divorce. You can do this with your local court clerk’s office. However, it might still be worth contacting your local Social Security office to see if they will accept your divorce decree as your legal name change document.
Can I keep my married last name after I’m divorced?
Yes, it is completely up to you whether you want to change your name or not. Many people keep their name in order to keep the same last name as their children, for professional reasons, or simply for personal preference.
Can I also change my child’s name to my former name?
If the father is still fulfilling his parental duties, then he can insist that his child keeps his last name. However, the court may allow a child’s name to be changed if it can be established that it is in the child’s best interests. You will need to check with a family lawyer to see if this is possible in your situation.
Can I use my maiden name before I divorce?
You can use your maiden name while you are waiting to divorce. However, in order to get your name changed on things such as your passport, you need to legally change your name, which requires your divorce decree or court order.
Do I need my ex-spouse’s signature to take back my maiden name?
Anything that is part of your divorce needs to be agreed upon by both spouses or ordered by a Judge. Therefore, in order to revert back to your maiden name by using your divorce decree, it is easier if your ex approves. However, if he doesn’t, you can still change your name but may require a brief hearing or a separate court order.
Can I request a name other than my maiden name?
Your divorce decree will only allow you to revert back to your maiden name. However, there are other ways of legally changing your name if you wish to change it to a different name entirely. You will need to get in touch with your local court clerk’s office for further information.
How do I change my name if it’s been years since the divorce?
Your divorce judgment may have given you the right to use your premarital name, in which case you can go ahead and start changing your name on legal documents such as your Social Security. However, if it doesn’t, then you will need to file for a name change with your local court.
When does a name change go into effect?
Your name change will not come into effect until you have been issued your divorce decree or court order and you have changed your name on all important documents, such as your passport and driver’s license.
Contact Skillern Firm Today
At Skillern Firm, we are proud of our experienced team, who are dedicated to the needs of our clients and their families. We will guide you through all family law matters, including divorce and changing your name.
We will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected, your children’s best interests are prioritized, and that you have the tools you need to move forward with confidence.
To speak to one of our divorce lawyers at Skillern Firm today, call 936-213-8479.