How to Change Your Name After a Divorce

Written by Jonathan Breeden

July 28, 2017

Divorces are difficult and complicated no matter how much money you and your spouse made, how much property you owned together, or whether or not you had kids. Of course, these factors can make a divorce more complex and contentious leading to emotional distress. However, you may have a rather simple divorce and still go through a tremendous amount of suffering. After all, a divorce is much more than dividing your belongings and living alone again. It is the end of an intimate relationship that shaped your everyday life and future plans. When you dissolve this connection, you may re-evaluate your own identity. Considering who you are outside of your marriage may lead you to think more about your name. If you took on your spouse’s last name when you got married, it may be time to return to your maiden name?

If you are interested in knowing more about the process of changing your name during or after a divorce, please do not hesitate to reach out to North Carolina divorce lawyer Jonathan Breeden at (919) 661-4970. He has more than 15 years of experience helping individuals obtain divorces and move forward into happier, healthier lives.

Changing Your Name Through Your Divorce

If you go into your divorce knowing you will want to change your last name, your attorney can ask for this to be included in your final divorce order. Either within your initial divorce complaint or through an additional motion, you will petition the court for permission to change your last name. In most circumstances, you will ask that your name be returned to your previous last name. This is an option for both husbands and wives who changed their name when they got married.

When your divorce is finalized, the court will include an order granting your name change request. This means, once you have your divorce decree, you can move forward with changing your name with the department of motor vehicles, social security office, and other government agencies and businesses.

Changing your name through your divorce is quite simple with the help of an attorney and ensures you do not have to spend extra time or money on this issue down the road. However, if you did not think about this issue or you thought you would want to retain your married name, you can still change your name after the divorce is final.

Changing Your Name After Your Divorce is Final

If you decide you want to change your last name after your divorce is already final, you will need to fill out additional paperwork to file with the appropriate county court clerk. The form is known as the Application/Notice of Resumption of Former Name. It must be completed with the authorized clerk or in the presence of a notary. There will also be an additional fee.

Under North Carolina law, you have the right to easily change from your married name to:

  • Your surname from before your married
  • Your maiden name
  • The last name of a former deceased husband
  • The last name of a former living husband if you have children with this individual

However, if you want to change your name to another option or you are a man who changed his name during marriage, the process is a bit different. No matter the situation, you should contact North Carolina divorce lawyer Jonathan Breeden right away to make sure you go through the process correctly and as efficiently as possible.

Keep in mind, if you want to change your name to something entirely new or your situation does not fall within the North Carolina statute, then you will need to go through a different formal process of changing your name. You will have to ask the court permission and follow a specific set of procedures.

Contact a North Carolina Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are going through a divorce or your divorce is final and you need to change your name, do not hesitate to reach out to Breeden Law Office for help. We are well-versed in divorce-related name changes and will guide you through the necessary legal process.

Call us today at (919) 661-4970 to schedule a consultation in either our Angier, Garner, Smithfield or Raleigh offices.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden