If you changed your last name when you got married, you may wish to change it back when you get divorced. This is an option that is available to men or women who changed their names when they got married. Some couples both change their names to a new common last name when they marry and are eligible to change their names back when they divorce.
The simplest way to change your name when you divorce is to indicate in the divorce paperwork that you want to revert to your pre-marital name. Your attorney can make sure this provision is included in the filings. When the divorce decree is issued, it will state that you have the right to resume using your pre-marital name. It is important to note that this is an option, not a requirement, and if you wish to continue using your married name you may do so. You can continue to use your married name and later begin using your pre-marital name if you wish also, as long as the decree gives you the right to revert to the pre-marital name.
If this marriage is a second marriage and you were using your first spouse’s name when you married your second spouse, the divorce generally only gives you the right to revert to the first spouse’s name, not your birth name (since that is your pre-marital name in this instance) unless you specifically request that.
If you do not ask the court for the right to change your name as part of your divorce, you can file a name change petition at any point in the future.
If you would like to change your child’s name after divorce, you will need the consent of the other legal parent to do so. Courts do not allow children’s names to be changed as part of a divorce proceeding.
The Sampair Group handles divorce and family law cases in the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. We can answer your questions about divorce and name changes. Call our office to schedule a convenient appointment today.