It’s common that after your Texas divorce, you may want to revert to our maiden name. However, there are several legal points to consider.
If you and your ex-spouse didn’t have children, then usually, your best legal path would be to negotiate the implementation of your name change in the divorce decree itself.
Also, unless it was addressed in a legally valid prenuptial agreement, your ex-spouse can never force you to take your maiden name back. However, your request to amend the divorce papers in Texas usually must occur at least 30 days before your trial date.
It’s good to know that usually, changing your last name after your Texas divorce is finalized is simple. Most of the time, your experienced Bellaire family divorce lawyer will address this issue with you, and your name change request will be handled at the beginning of your divorce. This holds if your “new” name is the one you used before your marriage (your maiden name).
If you wish to change your name to one you have not used before, your name change request will require a special court hearing and would be managed as a separate legal issue altogether.
Reverting to your maiden name is quite common in most Texas divorce proceedings, and your Harris County divorce lawyers will commonly ask you whether you would like to request a name change early in the process. This is the easiest thing to do, and your lawyer will include your name change paperwork with the divorce petition.
What Can I Do If My Name Change Was Not in My Initial Divorce Filing?
First, it’s pretty standard that if it’s not addressed in your divorce filing, numerous women ask, “How do I change my name after my divorce is finalized?”
You may be one of the women that wish to keep your married name but then (for whatever reason) might change your mind months or even years later. Also, it’s common not to change your name as you still share it with your children. This is another change that your kids don’t need to adapt to for your children’s sake. Also, it certainly minimizes issues at school, at your doctor’s office, etc. You never have to explain why you and your children have different last names.
However, if you eventually wish to change your name and you’ve been divorced for some time, you will need to file an “Original Petition for Change of Name” in the county where you now reside. This is a separate and distinct legal filing from your divorce, and you need and you’ll need to schedule a new court hearing. Your Texas judge must approve your request and issue a court order.
Your reason for wanting a name change is your reason alone; each case is different. You may know right away, or reasons may arise years later. It’s always a wise move to discuss this option with your Bellaire divorce lawyer before your divorce is finalized. If this occurs at any time, discussing your reasons, options, and consequences with your family lawyer is vital.
Are There Any Reasons That the Texas Court Might Deny My Name Change?
The simple legal answer is, yes, there could be. If you request a name change, the judge presiding over your case will want to ensure you’re simply asking for a name change to avoid creditors or make it difficult for people to find you.
Also, let’s say you’re a convicted felon, then the judge may deny your request unless you can show the following:
- You’ve had a pardon issued for your crime.
- You were released from jail and completed probation a minimum of two years before your request.
- The new name you want is the name used in your criminal record.
Your request may also be denied if you have been required to register as a sex offender. In this case, you must prove that you informed local law enforcement of your name change.
The above are just some examples, but if you have anything in your present or past that might have your name change request denied, then thoroughly discuss this matter with your family lawyer. They will explain your options, fight for your rights, and always know the best legal path to follow.
What Do I Need To Do After My Name Change?
In today’s digital world, there are myriad things you need to do after your name change is finalized. Commonly, in Texas, you will need to complete the following and provide the documents to do so:
- A new proof of US Citizenship or evidence of lawful presence must be obtained under your new name.
- A new proof of residency will include your new name, complete address, current mortgage, deed, lease, voter registration, motor vehicle registration, and more.
- A current and new proof of ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport.
- A new proof of your Social security number.
- Valid proof of your age, such as an adoption decree, hospital records, or birth certificate.
- Fully filed and certified copies of documentation grant you the legal right to your new name and more.
It sounds like a lot, and it is. However, your Bellaire family law firm, fully versed in these matters, will guide you every step of the way. You’ll be given a checklist to follow and, if needed, your lawyer’s staff with help with your filings, etc.
I Do Wish To Change My Name After My Divorce; How Should I Proceed?
First, for whatever reason you want to proceed with your name change you begin to see that it’s not as simple as you thought, and the advice and legal guidance of your divorce lawyer will be invaluable.
Your case and reasons are unique, and when and if you change your name, various details must be addressed. Consulting with your Bellaire family law team will ensure that you follow all the legal requirements and get it right the first time. You’re starting down a new life path, so get the correct legal advice you need and don’t leave anything up to chance.