One of the decisions to be made for many women during a divorce is whether or not to revert to their maiden name. While no law requires you to do so, some women view changing their name as a sign of regained independence. Washington state allows for this smooth and easy process, with the only difference being whether you do it during or after the divorce.
Below, we take you through how to change your name after divorce in Washington. Consult an experienced Tacoma Divorce Attorney if you have more questions.
Reasons for Changing Your Name
Divorce marks the end of one life and the beginning of another, explaining why many women decide to revert to their name when a marriage ends. They may view it as renewing their self-identity or making a clean break from a relationship. If the divorce was caused by domestic violence, you might also change your name to protect yourself and your children.
Ultimately, the decision to change or retain your name is yours. Speak to an attorney once you decide which way you wish to go.
Changing Your Name as Part of the Divorce
Including a name change request in your petition for divorce is arguably the easiest way to get the job done. Your attorney will help you fill and file the correct paperwork, and then the name change will be included in the final divorce decree: it is that simple.
Once the divorce is complete, you will receive a certified order confirming your name change. You can then begin to convert the details in other important documents, such as your:
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- State identification card
- Bank accounts and credit cards
- Property titles
You may also check your subscriptions or memberships to organizations and institutions, where your name change may affect operations.
Changing Your Name After Divorce
If you decide to get a name change after your divorce is final, you may need to go through a few more steps. The process may include:
- Completing a name change request form
- Filing a petition for a divorce name change with the clerk at the district court
- Going to hearing
- Receiving a judge’s approval
You may be required to pay a nominal fee when filing your forms with the local clerk of the court’s office. If you are in business with many people, you may also need to run an ad about your name change in a local publication.
After your petition is approved, you will receive a certified copy of an order officially changing your name. You can then proceed to change other documents.
Talk to a Tacoma Divorce Attorney
The exact process of how to change your name after divorce will often depend on when you do it. Changing your name as part of the divorce is relatively easier than doing it some years later, but that is not to say that it is impossible to change your name later.
If you are in the process of ending your marriage, you need the help and guidance of an experienced Tacoma Divorce Attorney. Alliance Law Group has been handling divorce cases since 1950, and we are ready to help. Contact us at 253-581-0660 to schedule a consultation.