During a divorce, many women (and sometimes men) are faced with the question of whether or not to change their last name back to their maiden name once the marriage is dissolved. Importantly, you are not required to change your last name as part of the divorce proceeding. In fact, many choose to keep their married name, especially in the case of a long-term marriage or if there are minor children involved. Overall, it is a personal decision that only you can make.
If you do decide to change your name as part of your divorce, language should be included in your Divorce Decree identifying the name change. Having the name change identified in the Divorce Decree makes the process much easier, and avoids having to petition the court for a name change at a later date.
Although it may be easy to procrastinate, be sure to correct your name with the various agencies/companies/organizations/institutions you deal with as soon as possible. This will help avoid potential difficulties in the future.
Understandably, the name change process can often seem daunting once you realize how many places will need to correct your legal name. The best first step is to make a list of agencies/companies/organizations/institutions that you need to contact regarding the name change. This list should include: the Social Security Administration, The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, The Unites States Department of State, Employers, Insurance Providers, Banks, Credit Card Companies, and more. If you have children, you should also be sure to contact their school and pediatrician’s office to ensure that they have your updated information on file.