How to Change Your Name After Divorce

How to Change Your Name After Divorce

Changing your name after a divorce can be influential in your moving forward and starting a new life. Whether you’re looking to revert to your maiden name or choose a completely different name, the process can be straightforward with the right guidance.

This article will outline the steps to legally change your name after a divorce.

Is It Recommended to Change Your Name After Divorce?

Deciding whether to modify your name after a divorce is a highly personal choice influenced by your unique situation and emotions. For many, reverting to a maiden name or adopting a new surname can symbolize a fresh start or a return to one’s roots, offering a sense of closure from the past relationship. 

This change can be particularly empowering if the previous marriage was difficult, allowing for a symbolic shedding of old ties and associations.

On the practical side, keeping your name might simplify life if you wish to share the same surname as your children from the marriage. This can make school and travel arrangements easier and help maintain a sense of family unity post-divorce.

Moreover, if your professional reputation or public identity is tied to your married name, changing it might not be beneficial. Professionals who have built a career under a particular name might experience setbacks or confusion among clients and colleagues if a name change were to occur.

Additionally, some individuals keep their married names to avoid the administrative hassle and emotional strain of changing legal documents, professional records, and personal affiliations. The process requires informing multiple institutions, which can be time-consuming and sometimes expensive.

If you’re unsure about the process or need guidance, consider consulting with London Divorce Lawyers, who can provide expert advice tailored to your situation.

Ultimately, the choice to change your name after a divorce should reflect your identity, professional circumstances, and emotional well-being. It’s about finding what feels right for you as you move forward into the next chapter of your life, whether that involves reclaiming a former identity or continuing with the name you’ve grown accustomed to during your marriage.

Steps to Change Your Name After Divorce

You can start using a new name informally at any point without following a specific legal procedure. Simply inform your friends, family, and acquaintances about your new preferred name and begin using it personally. This non-legal change is sufficient for social purposes but not for official documentation.

More formal evidence is required when you decide to update your name on official documents like bank accounts or your passport. Most organizations will need documentary proof of your name change.

If you are reverting to your maiden or a previously used surname, you can use your marriage certificate and divorce decree as sufficient documentation. Some institutes might also require the final order of your divorce, original marriage certificate, birth certificate or relevant documents. 

If the above documents are insufficient for some institutions, or if you wish to change to a name that is not your previous surname, obtaining a deed poll is necessary. 

Related article: Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods to Divorce in the UK

Applying for a Deed Poll

A deed poll is an official document that demonstrates a change of name. To begin this process, you must apply for a deed poll through a recognised service or a solicitor. Once you have your deed poll, it serves as evidence of your new name, which you can use to revise all your records.

There are two types of deed polls:

  1. Unenrolled Deed Poll: Also known as a change of name deed, this document does not need to be registered but must be witnessed, signed in both your old and new names, and dated. Most organizations commonly accept it, and it is a quicker, more straightforward option.
  2. Enrolled Deed Poll: You need to apply to the Royal Courts of Justice for an enrolled deed poll. This involves more documentation and a fee of £42.44. The required documents include a Change of Name Deed form, a Statutory Declaration, and a notice for the London Gazette. An enrolled deed poll offers higher official recognition and is necessary for some banks and legal entities.

Whom Should I Inform After Changing My Name

Once your name changes, it is crucial to inform various institutions and individuals to ensure all records are consistent. Here is a list of whom you should notify after changing your name. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

  • Government Agencies: The first step is to update your name with the Passport Office, especially if you plan on travelling. Similarly, notify the DVLA to update your driving license. These documents are often used as proof of identity, so it’s important they reflect your current name.
  • Financial Institutions: Inform all your banks and financial institutions of your name modification. This includes your main bank accounts, credit card companies, and any investment portfolios. They will require evidence of your name change, such as your deed poll or the marriage and divorce documents if you change to your maiden name.
  • Employers and Educational Institutions: Notify your employer so that your paychecks and all employment records can be updated. If you are enrolled in or have degrees from educational institutions, updating your name with them ensures that your qualifications remain in order.
  • Utility and Service Providers: Update your name with utility companies, such as those for electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications, as well as any other service providers. This helps bypass any confusion or issues with service continuation.
  • Insurance Providers: Your insurer, whether for health, auto, home, or life insurance, must be informed of your name change to ensure all current policies and claims can be processed without issues.
  • Social Security Administration: If applicable, updating your name with the Social Security Administration is crucial for record accuracy and future benefits

Also read: Things to Consider Before Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyers

Remember, each organization may have its process for updating your name, and they may request different forms of evidence. Preparing multiple certified copies of legal documents like your deed poll or divorce decree is often useful. 

Let Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Help

Facing the challenges of divorce requires reliable legal support. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we understand the complexities involved and are here to guide you through every step of the process. Our team specialises in all facets of divorce law, from financial settlements to addressing custody arrangements.

We are dedicated to delivering comprehensive legal services to assist you in accomplishing the best possible outcomes during this significant life transition. Contact us today for expert advice and to ensure your rights and interests are fully protected as you move forward.

FAQs

Yes, you are free to keep using your married name after divorce. It is entirely up to you to revert to your maiden name or keep using your married name.

In most cases, you will need a deed poll to officially change your name back to your maiden name after divorce. This document will serve as proof of your name change.

If you want to change your title after a divorce, you can use the title that best reflects your current status. No legal procedure is required to make this change. 

To start using a new name after divorce, you can begin informally by introducing yourself with your new name and updating it on non-legal platforms such as social media and in communications with friends and family.  For official purposes, you’ll likely need legal documentation.

There may be fees associated with obtaining a new passport, driver’s license, or other official documents in your new academic name. If you use a deed poll, there may also be a fee for the legal document or legal advice.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.

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