St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

Changing Your Name After Your Divorce – What You Need to Know

After your divorce, you can go back to your previous name or go by a different name. However, that does not make the name you choose your legal name. We can help!

You are not required to change your name after getting divorced. However, if you choose to change your name, Missouri law allows you to include a name change as part of the divorce. The decision to change your name or not is yours to make. At The Betz Law Firm, we can help you if you decide to change it.

How to Change Your Name After Your Divorce

After your divorce, you can go back to your previous name or go by a different name. However, that does not make the name you choose your legal name. Even if you introduce yourself as your chosen name for legal purposes, your given name will still be the first and last name. To make your new name official, you need a court order approving the change.

In a traditional scenario, a woman who took her husband’s new name when they got married wants to change it now that she’s divorced. However, this is not the only scenario in which a person might want to change their name after their divorce is finalized. In addition, you can request a name change as part of the divorce or in a separate petition to the court afterward.

Changing Your Name – As Part of the Divorce

If you have not yet gotten divorced, you have the option of including a request for a name change as part of the divorce proceeding. In Missouri, a petition for divorce must identify all of the issues that the person filing wants to resolve. This includes things like spousal maintenance, property division, and child custody. A request for a name change can also be part of the divorce petition.

If you are changing back to your maiden name or another name you have legally used in the past, the judge will likely sign off on it with no questions. If you ask for a completely new name, the judge may have a few questions to ask you.

Changing Your Name – After Your Divorce

If you are already divorced and would like to change your name, you will have to petition a court. The court must grant a name change after a judge determines that it would not be detrimental to the interests of another person. For instance, if you are trying to evade debt collectors or the law, a judge will not approve it. If you have any other pending lawsuits or judgments, the court will need to know about them.

Filing a name change petition after your divorce will cost you extra instead of being included in your divorce. You will have to pay another filing fee, and state law requires you to publish a notice of your name change in the local newspaper.

St. Louis Name Change Lawyer

There are many reasons why an individual may seek to have their name changed legally. Our firm has handled every type of name change situation, from divorce to a minor child’s legal adoption. In some instances, a name change petition may be part of a larger family law matter, such as with a divorce. Non-gender conforming individuals, such as transgender or non-binary, may wish to change their name to fit their identity.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families navigate life-changing events.