If you are considering divorce or are in the process of getting divorced in North Carolina, it is important to learn more about the steps you will need to take if you want to change your name. To be clear, changing your name after a divorce has different requirements than changing your name for other reasons. In addition, changing your name after a divorce in North Carolina will have different requirements than in other states.
We want to provide you with more information about how to change your name after a North Carolina divorce. If you need assistance with your divorce, or if you need help changing your name after a divorce, one of the dedicated Monroe family law attorneys can assist you.
Requesting a Name Change During Your Divorce Process
For most people who want to change their name after a divorce, the easiest way to do this is to request your name change in your divorce complaint or response to a divorce complaint. Under North Carolina law (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-12), a woman who gets divorced can make a request to change her name once the divorce is granted. She can request one of the following types of name changes:
- Maiden name;
- Surname of a prior deceased husband; or
- Surname of a prior living husband if the woman has children with that husband’s surname.
Men who get divorced also have the option to change their name as part of the divorce process. However, the options are more limited. As the statute explains, someone whose marriage is dissolved through absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court in the county in which the divorce was granted or in which he lives, change the name he took upon marriage to his pre-marriage name.
Incorporating a Name Change Into Your Divorce Decree
If a party who is getting divorced petitions for a name change either in the initial divorce complaint or in a counterclaim for divorce, the court can incorporate the name change directly into the divorce decree. Then, once the divorce is final, the party seeking the name change can obtain certified copies of the divorce decree in order to make required changes to a driver’s license, U.S. passport, and any other documentation. Requesting a name change as part of the divorce process is typically the easiest way to accomplish a name change.
Resumption of Maiden Name or Previous Surname After Divorce
If you did not request a name change during your divorce process and already are divorced, you still may be able to change your name in a manner that is less complicated than an adult seeking a name change outside marriage or divorce. According to North Carolina law, if you have adopted a previous surname since your divorce, you can request to have the surname validated.
Contact a Monroe, NC Divorce Lawyer
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