If you legally changed your last name when you married, getting a divorce raises the question of whether and how to change it back. Along with the tradition of women giving up their maiden names when they marry, over the past few decades both men and women have opted to hyphenate or otherwise combine their names.
Changing your name is optional. There are many reasons why one person might decide to keep her married name, and another might prefer to drop it.
Fortunately, reverting to your birth name is fairly easy in Missouri. If you decide to change your name during the divorce, be sure to let your attorney know. In Missouri, it’s as simple as including the new name in the divorce paperwork. If you did not elect to change your name during the divorce process, you can still do so after the divorce. The steps are:
- File a petition with the court of the county where you reside, requesting the name change.
- Attend the scheduled hearing.
- Be granted an order from the court.
- Within 20 days of the hearing, publish the name change in a local newspaper at least three times to make it public record.
- Within 10 days after the last publication, send proof of the published name-change to the court.
Once you receive a certified copy of the divorce decree or the order for a name change, you must then change your name on your Missouri driver’s license, Social Security card, U.S. passport, voter registration card, and other legal documents.
Divorce means establishing a new identity, which may include a name change. With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Raza & Jones, LLC, can help you understand the details and navigate the process. For questions, or to schedule a confidential consultation, call 314-449-8830.