A couple filing for divorce.

Changing Your Name After Divorce

A common part of starting over after divorce is for a person, generally, a woman who had taken on the last name of her former husband, to change her name back to her maiden name. While really anyone can have their name changed in Arkansas, there will be some paperwork and multiple steps in the process to make the name change official. Let’s take a look at how to change your name after a divorce in Arkansas.

Changing Your Name After Divorce

Regardless of the reason or event that led to a person seeking a name change, there is always an initial legal step that must be taken as it will result in receiving proof of your new name. The form of that proof will vary depending on when and how your name change is happening. For instance, when you get married, your marriage certificate will act as proof of your name change. Once married, a certified copy of the marriage certificates should be obtained and retained to update official records with a new name.

Anyone can also get a named change, under most circumstances through petitioning a court. Arkansas permits any adult to petition a court to obtain a name change. In order to do so, a name change application form must be completed by providing personal information as well as supplying the reasons why you wish to change your name. You may also need to attend a court hearing should the judge hearing the petition wish for more information. It should be noted that most name changes will be permitted, but not without limitations. Name changes for fraudulent or illegal purposes will not be permitted. Furthermore, you should be aware that changing your name will not allow you to escape a lawsuit, criminal charge, or debt that may be under a previous name. If granted by the court, an order changing your name will be issued and you can use a certified copy of the order to proceed with changing your name on official documents and in official databases.

In regard to divorce, your divorce decree can serve as proof of your name change. Arkansas allows the divorce court to restore a wife’s maiden, or previously held, name. This directive is included in the divorce decree and a certified copy of the divorce decree will be proof of the name change. Interestingly enough, Arkansas state law makes no reference to a husband’s ability to change his name in a divorce.

Once you obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree with a provision for restoring your former name, you will use it as proof to change your name for things such as Social Security and your driver’s license. These are the two essential places to start in the process of changing your name. Your Social Security card and your driver’s license are key pieces of identification and, therefore, should be a priority in changing your name.

Family Law Attorney

Are you considering divorce? Do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Bryce Cook for assistance. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.