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Name Change After Divorce

Name Change After Divorce

In a name change after divorce, a person may want to change their last name. In many cases, the individual must do so to ensure minimal disruption to daily life, such as access to essential programs and services.

Those seeking a name change after a divorce have several options they may exercise when they change their name. In general, there is no legal deadline by which the name must be changed. The legal name may be changed before or after the divorce has been finalized; however, a name change petition may only be filed after the divorce petition is filed with the court.

Colorado Name Change After Divorce Attorneys

If you or someone you know missed their chance to change their name during divorce proceedings or later discovered that they would prefer using their maiden name, then reach out to our knowledgeable family law attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.  Choosing the correct Colorado lawyer to help you with the desired name change is essential. Our legal team has years of experience in family law matters and can assist you.

Our offices serve the greater Colorado Springs and El Paso County area, as well as the city of Denver. Call (719) 328-1616 to arrange a confidential consultation with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

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Information Center

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Steps for Obtaining a Name Change

The first option is petitioning for a name change before divorce proceedings are concluded. Depending on the circumstances, a name change may be necessary early in the divorce process to address external issues with programs and services. For some, they may simply want to change their name because they anticipate that the divorce will be finalized. Regardless, one seeking a name change before divorce proceedings may indicate that they intend to use their former name on the divorce petition paperwork. However, suppose there is no urgent need for a name change before proceedings have concluded. In that case, the petitioner may indicate that they will continue to use their married name until the end of the proceedings, providing the name they intend to use at that time.

Suppose the name change was not requested on the initial divorce petition or response. In that case, the petitioner must file a Verified Motion And Affidavit for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union Or Legal Separation and an Order for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage /Civil Union. Name changes are not allowed if both spouses agreed to retain their current names or the name change is requested for criminal purposes, like evading arrest or conviction. If the name change documents are filed within 60 days of the divorce signing, the petitioner will not be required to pay the associated legal fees. If the petitioner chooses to file for a name change after the 60-day period, they still may do so, but they will be required to pay fees associated with the motions.

After The Name Change

Obtaining a name change via legal proceedings is only the tip of the iceberg. After the petitioner changes their name, several necessary steps must be taken to ensure that the name change is recognized correctly. Even though the court has recognized the name change, it is not automatically updated everywhere; applicants must change their name with government agencies, service and assistance programs, and more.

One of the most critical changes one must make after having their name changed is to notify the Social Security Association. Social Security numbers are not only necessary for benefits but also serve as a critical identification method. If the information on one’s social security account is inaccurate, benefits and identification functions will be disrupted. To prevent disruptions, the change to social security information must be performed as soon as possible. To apply for a new social security card, one must supply the following:

  • A birth certificate to establish citizenship, immigration status, and age
  • Identification (driver’s license, passport, government ID, etc.)
  • Proof of legal name change (divorce decree)

After supplying the information, the applicant will receive a social security card with their new name and information. Obtaining an updated social security card is crucial to maintaining access to other privileges and services. For example, a social security number is required to have a driver’s license or to use services and utilities like electricity.

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Automobile And Driver’s License

After receiving an updated social security card, the next most important step is changing vehicle and driving license and registration. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that car title, vehicle registration, and driver’s license have the driver’s current name, even if that name has recently changed. To change license and registration, one must provide the following:

  • Car VIN (vehicle identification number) or title number
  • New social security card number
  • Proof of address (mail, bank statements, or billing statements showing current address)
  • Duplicate title and receipt request form
  • Legal documents showing the name change (divorce decree)

Depending on where the applicant lives, more steps may be required to ensure the name change is completed. Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website or your local DMV office for more information.

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Passports must also display an individual’s current name. However, there are different requirements for a name change request depending on when the passport was issued. Visit Travel.State.Gov to determine what circumstances apply and steps to take to successfully modify a passport.

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Other Government Organizations, Services, Utilities

To ensure that access to services and utilities is not disrupted, one must provide updated name information to each organization. Government organizations and service providers often require current biographical information on both the account and the identification used. For example, utility companies request a customer’s Social Security number to open an account and provide services. Services may be disrupted if the name associated with the Social Security number is incorrect. This applies to other organizations like the IRS, the Postal Service, Veterans Affairs, and cell phone services.

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Additional Resources

Colorado Judicial Branch – The Colorado Judicial Branch provides the public with the documents and procedures necessary to obtain a divorce-related name change. Visit the Colorado judicial branch website to find forms for a name change.

Colorado Revised Statutes, Colorado General Assembly – The Colorado Revised Statutes contain the official laws adopted by the Colorado legislature. Click the link to find a searchable database of all the laws in the state, including divorce.

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Denver Name Change After Divorce Lawyers | Denver County, CO

If you are interested in petitioning for a name change in the state of Colorado, our family law attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC can help. The divorce process can be emotional and you need a strong support system to help you through the many decisions that need to be made. Our legal team can also answer any questions you may have.

Allow us to help you establish the future you desire. To learn more, call (719) 328-1616 today. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area including Jefferson County, Douglas County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, and Broomfield County.

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