4 Tips For Changing Back To Maiden Name After A Divorce

For many women going through a divorce, changing back to their maiden last name can be an empowering act. After all, you are no longer going to be spending your life with your former spouse, and keeping his last name when you are no longer married may feel wrong and also cause confusion and misunderstandings. Luckily, legally changing back to your maiden name is relatively simple. Here are four tips for changing back to your maiden name after a divorce:

Ask Your Divorce Attorney to Handle the Change

The easiest way to change back to your maiden name is to have your divorce attorney indicate the change in your divorce paperwork. This way, the legal name change takes place at the same time as your divorce is decreed official, and you can avoid unnecessary court appearances, paperwork, and legal costs. Even if your divorce has already been finalized, your divorce attorney should be able to file amended divorce paperwork to make the change on your behalf. By combining the name change with your divorce proceedings, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Make a Plan for Changing Your Name on Social Media

Sometimes the most awkward part of changing back to your maiden name is knowing how to broach the subject on social media in order to avoid confusion and difficult conversations. Perhaps the simplest and least dramatic approach is to simply change your name on Facebook, Instagram, etc, to your maiden name or even your first and middle name without any fanfare, status updates, or explanations.

Since chances are not everyone in your social media circles knows you are getting divorced, you may receive messages or comments questioning the name change once people begin to notice it. Stick to a simple reply like "My ex and I have decided to go our separate ways but we wish each other the best," and most people will simply wish you well and respect your privacy.

Look at Your Name Change as a Fresh Start

While you may have mixed emotions about changing back to your last name, one helpful way to turn this into a positive transition is to focus on getting your name back as a fresh start in life. Instead of being reminded of your ex every time you sign your name, you will get to feel like a completely independent person. Make a list of everything you would like to do now that you are a single woman with your maiden name.

Perhaps you've always wanted to visit Europe, take Spanish or art classes, or volunteer, but you never did these things when you were married. Now is the time to turn over a new leaf in life and make your life whatever you want it to be, armed with your maiden name.

Notify the Correct Agencies

Once your name has been legally changed, it's time to notify the appropriate agencies so they can update your records. In most cases, you will need to start by notifying the Social Security Administration and applying in person for an updated card. Once you have a new social security card with your maiden name on it, you can move on to the DMV for an updated driver's license. Once you have these documents, it should be simple to have your name updated with creditors, insurance companies, and the like.

Changing your name after a divorce does require a bit of time and effort, and ideally the help of an experienced attorney. Once your name is changed back to your maiden name, you will feel like you have regained your single identity.