Name Change After Divorce

If you changed your last name when you got married, you may wish to change it back when you get divorced. This is an option that is available to men or women who changed their names when they got married. Some couples both change their names to a new common last name when they marry and are eligible to change their names back when they divorce.

The simplest way to change your name when you divorce is to indicate in the divorce paperwork that you want to revert to your pre-marital name. Your attorney can make sure this provision is included in the filings. When the divorce decree is issued, it will state that you have the right to resume using your pre-marital name. It is important to note that this is an option, not a requirement, and if you wish to continue using your married name you may do so. You can continue to use your married name and later begin using your pre-marital name if you wish also, as long as the decree gives you the right to revert to the pre-marital name.

If this marriage is a second marriage and you were using your first spouse’s name when you married your second spouse, the divorce generally only gives you the right to revert to the first spouse’s name, not your birth name (since that is your pre-marital name in this instance) unless you specifically request that.

If you do not ask the court for the right to change your name as part of your divorce, you can file a name change petition at any point in the future.

If you would like to change your child’s name after divorce, you will need the consent of the other legal parent to do so. Courts do not allow children’s names to be changed as part of a divorce proceeding.

The Sampair Group handles divorce and family law cases in the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. We can answer your questions about divorce and name changes. Call our office to schedule a convenient appointment today.

Name Change After Divorce

If you changed your name when you got married, you may wish to change it back if you get divorced. There is only one way to change your name in a divorce case. You must ask the divorce court for to change your name in the final Divorce Decree. Permission will be granted in your Decree and this is all you need to be able to change your name. If the name change is not included in the Divorce Decree you will have to undergo a separate name change court case, which will lead to additional expense and time.

Once you have permission to change your name to your pre-marital name, you will want to start with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles. These two agencies have specific requirements as to what forms you need to complete and the proof you need to offer, which will include your court order. Once you have changed your name with these two entities, other name changes will be less complex. Be sure to notify the following:

  • Landlord
  • Bank
  • Retirement accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Professional licensing
  • Medical professionals that treat you and your children
  • Utilities
  • Employer
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Homeowner’s, renter’s, life, and auto insurance
  • Your child’s school, if you have children
  • Passport

You will also want to talk with your attorney about changing your name in your will, which is often done as a complete update to your will after your divorce.

The Sampair Group represents clients in divorce and family law in Maricopa County. Our lawyers are ready to meet with you to discuss your case. Call us today.

Changing Your Child’s Last Name

NameChangeCustody battles can be very intense. When you get divorced or work through a custody case there are many issues to deal with, including decision-making responsibility, parenting time, and living arrangements. Some parents wonder whether they can change their child’s last name after a divorce or custody case. This is a particularly common question when the other parent has no decision-making authority and little or no parenting time. Parents also often wonder about this after a parent has failed to utilize his or her allotted parenting time, disappearing from the child’s life.

Children retain their last name after a divorce or custody case. Parents are generally granted the right to revert to a pre-marital name as part of a divorce. When a parent does so, this can lead to a situation where a parent and child have different last names.

A child’s last name can only be changed by a court order. To apply for a name change, you or your attorney must file an application with the court.  The other parent must be notified of the hearing. If your child is age 14 or older, the other parent must sign a notarized statement agreeing to the change or appear at the hearing. If you don’t know where the other parent is, he or she can be served by publication in a paper chosen by the court. A child that is age 14 or older must also consent to the name change. The court will make the decision whether or not to change the child’s name. This is most commonly granted in situations where the other parent has disappeared from the child’s life, has abused the child, or has committed a crime or done something to make sharing the same name uncomfortable.

For assistance with any family law issues you are experiencing, contact the Sampair Group in the Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale areas today. Our compassionate lawyers are ready to help you.



Should I Change Back To My Maiden Name After Divorce? (Part 1)

A divorce brings about many changes, from residence and free time to parenting changes and new financial situations. There is no right or wrong decision to make when it comes to deciding if you should change your last name back to your maiden name after a divorce, but there are some factors to consider:

1. Make Sure You Can Change Your Name
The first and biggest thing to determine is that you divorce decree allows for you to change your name back after the divorce if you choose. Some people do not change their last name not because they don’t want to, but because their attorney’s did not assure that this would be an option available to them in their divorce agreement. At The Sampair Group, we will explain to you all of your options when it comes to your divorce decree and the different guidelines involved with it.

2. A New Name, A New Life
Changing your name back to your maiden name could be a symbol of a clean break and a new life. During your marriage, one of the many attachments you had to your spouse was sharing a name and constantly being associated with them. Changing your name back may give you the option to get back to living your own life, with your own name back. This could symbolize your independence and completely disconnect you from your ex through not just a name, but also legally, financially and emotionally.

3. Consider Your Children
If you had children as a result of your marriage, it is likely that they have their father’s last name, just as you do. Many people do not change their last name back to their maiden name after a divorce because they don’t want to have a different last name than their children. This shouldn’t necessarily be a deciding factor in your decision to change your name or not, but is definitely something that is considered.

Read more in Part 2

Changing your name after a divorce is your own personal decision. Surprise divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group will look at the circumstances of your case and your life to help you determine what would be the best decision for you. Contact us today at for a free consultation.

Avoid Tax Problems After Changing Your Last Name

Last NameWhen a couple is married, it’s extremely common for one of the partners to change their last name to that of their spouse. As a result of a divorce, this last name may be changed back to the former last name of that person. In order to protect yourself from any tax complications, it is important to ensure that the name on your tax return matches with that of the one registered with the Social Security Administration. If there is any mismatch between these names, it can cause quite the headache when it comes to processing your return, and can greatly delay your refund.

Here are some of the necessary steps for recently married or divorced taxpayers to follow to ensure their tax protection in the case of any name changes:

1. As soon as you change your last name or hyphenated or made any other changes to your name, you must notify the Social Security Administration immediately. Without notification, the SSA and IRS cannot match your names on your tax returns and your social security card.

2. If you divorce and change your last name back to your maiden name, you must also notify the SSA immediately.

3. File a form SS-5 Application for a new Social Security Card to notify the SSA of a name change. Proof of name change will need to be provided with this application, so bring any kind of documentation that could prove this including a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order for a name change.

4. If after marriage you adopted your spouse’s children, it is important to determine if the children each have their own social security number, since taxpayers must provide a social security number for each dependent claimed on a tax return.

For more information regarding taxes and how your divorce can impact the process, contact a Surprise divorce attorney at The Sampair Group. We will work with you to ease the stress and pressure that can come from a divorce proceeding, along with all of the other elements that come with it. Visit us today at for a free consultation.