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Changing Your Name Following a Divorce

How to Change your Name
In your divorce you have the ability to opt and change your last name back to a former or maiden name. In most states including Georgia you may request the judge to restore a former name or birth name during your divorce proceeding. If the judge rules that a name change is acceptable then the name change will be granted and included within the final divorce decree. Once the final divorce decree is signed and certified then it will act as the legal document proving the name change. Once you obtain this legal documentation you may use this document to prove your identification and alter your name on personal records.

 I’m Already Divorced Can I Still Change My Name Back?
In the case that your divorce decree does not include the language to restore your previous name then you may ask the court to modify the order to include the name change. In some situations it may be possible to make a modification even if the divorce has already been finalized. This may be dependent upon the state of divorce and your attorney can determine if this is possible. If it is possible your attorney can file an “Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment Order.” Even in the event that you aren’t able to file the application post-divorce there are other options such as a legal name change that will make it relatively easy to change your name back to its former state. All of the documentation that is generally necessary to obtain this name change is a legal document representing the former name; such as, a birth certificate or passport.  In Georgia, the legal process of changing a name – if not done as a part of the divorce process (or afterwards), is to file a petition with the court to change your name, satisfy the required public notice / publication requirements and to attend what is usually a brief court hearing to receive a court order officially changing your name.

Is It Legally Difficult to Change Your Name Back?
Changing back to a former name is much easier than it is to change to a completely new name. This is primarily due to the fact that the state can legally trace back your identity to the former name via state records. However, a change to a new name may be requested if you are attempting to elude capture, are trying to commit fraud, or are trying to conceal prior arrest or conviction history and therefore the court must go through lengthy bureaucratic investigations to ensure that the name change request is not for the purpose of engaging in such activities. Lengthy bureaucratic investigations are also likely if you are a recent immigrant to the United States or if you are unable to provide documentation that can adequately verify your former name.

If you have questions or would like to inquire about changing your name back to its former state during or following a divorce then you may contact our attorneys at Coleman Legal Group LLC. Our attorneys are experienced in divorce and family law and have experience in legal name changes during and following divorce proceedings. Please contact us today (Phone: 770-609-1247) to schedule your legal consultation.