Q: What is the proper procedure for changing my last name to something different after divorce?
When I got married, I planned on changing my last name to my husband's, even signing my name as such on the marriage license immediately after the wedding ceremony. But things were off to such a horrible start that I was already considering annulling the marriage within a week after getting married (won't go into details). So, I kept putting off changing my last name on various legal documents, including my driver's license and social security card because I didn't want to put in all that time and money when I possibly could have ended up divorced so soon. I am now getting divorced, but don't want to be stuck with my maiden name after the divorce because it causes me so much embarrassment. What I'm needing to know is, how does it work during the divorce process to request to have a last name other than my maiden name or that of a family member?
A: The law allows you to go back to any former name when the divorce is granted. So if you have a previous married name, you can return to that name. If you have no former name other than your maiden name, you can still change your name to anything by filing a name change case. Basically, you say under oath that you aren’t changing your name for an illegal or fraudulent purpose and you publish notice of the name change in the newspaper. You can find a name change form with instructions here: https://oklaw.org/resource/adult-name-change-forms.
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