Helping Texas Families Navigate Divorce Since 1986

How To Change Your Last Name After Divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Divorce

When you got married, you took your spouse’s last name. At the time, it symbolized your commitment to him and the fact that you were part of the same family now.

But now that you are getting divorced, the name that you were once proud to take on could have a lot of bad memories attached. Though some divorced people in Sugar Land keep their married name for professional reasons or for the children’s sake, most tend to want to go back to their old name. In Texas, you can use a Petition for a Change of Name to ask the judge to make this change as part of the divorce decree. Courts generally will grant this petition as long as the judge is satisfied you aren’t doing so to avoid creditors or commit fraud.

Beyond the legal name change

However, keep in mind that the divorce decree is only the first step. You still need to update all your legal documents and personal accounts, such as:

  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • Mortgage, auto loans and other loans
  • Passport
  • Voter registration records
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts

It is up to you to contact or visit government agencies like the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Social Security Administration to update your name and receive new documentation. To do this, you will need a copy of your divorce decree along with other documents. You must update your driver’s license in person, but SSA lets you seek a new Social Security card by mail.

Moving on to the next phase

Handling these small details can be a minor hassle, but taking care of them can be a sign that you have put your divorce behind you and are ready for the next chapter of your life. Discussing matters like property division and child custody with a knowledgeable divorce attorney can help you picture what that future can look like.