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Changing Your Name After Your Long Island Divorce

by | Mar 13, 2018 | divorce, divorce lawyer long island ny, Family Law Attorney, Family Law Lawyer, News and Events

Many of our female Long Island Divorce Attorney firm clients wish to change their last name back to the maiden name after their divorce. For many women post-divorce, a main concern is that of changing their last name. After dealing with the stress and aggravation of your divorce, changing your last name may seem like just another daunting process on your to-do list. However, if you are prepared, both with the necessary information and documents, it can be quickly checked off that list.

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What Will I Need?

In order to legally change your name after your Long Island divorce you will need three documents:

  • A certified copy of your Final Judgment of Divorce;
  • Proof of identification (such as your driver’s license or passport); and
  • Proof of age (such as your birth certificate).

Final Judgment of Divorce

When in the process of compiling your necessary documents, it is important that you search through your Final Judgment of Divorce for a specific provision. In most Final Judgments, the court will include a provision that states you are permitted to resume the use of your maiden name. Typically, if you retained a divorce attorney to handle your matter, your Judgment will contain this language. If it does, the Judgment will serve as the legal proof of your name change. This means that, rather than having to go to court and petition to have your name changed, you can proceed directly to the Social Security Office as explained below.

However, if your Judgment does not contain that provision, extra steps will be required. Usually, either an amendment will need to be made to your Judgment or you will need to petition the court for a name change. Thus, it is important that you read through your Judgment, and ideally, hire an experienced Long Island divorce attorney to handle your divorce matter before it gets to this stage to assure your name change goes smoothly, without having to go through extra hoops.

Where Do I Go?

After you have gathered the necessary documents (and assuming your Judgment contains the provision discussed above), you will need to notify the appropriate government agencies – the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. I usually advise my clients to visit the agencies respective websites and see if there are any forms that are required to complete the name change process. If so, I suggest filling them out beforehand to save some time.

After submitting the requisite forms and proof, the Social Security Office will send you a notification approving your name change. You can take this notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles (while waiting for your new Social Security Card) and change your name on your Driver’s License.

Once you receive both your new Social Security Card and your driver’s license, your name has officially been changed back to your maiden name. Additionally, it’s important to remember that other organizations may need to be alerted to the change as well, for example, utilities, credit card bills, and your passport – which is usually very important because your license may be compared to your passport if you are attempting to travel internationally. If the name’s do not match, there may be a problem when you attempt to travel abroad.

Have More Questions About Changing Your Name After Your Long Island Divorce? Contact Us

If you have further questions regarding a name change, or are about to start your Long Island Divorce and want to ensure it is done correctly, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Long Island Divorce Attorneys.


Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky

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