Changing Your Last Name After or During Divorce

After a divorce, women often want to change their last name to "complete" this life change, and remove unwanted associations with a likely unpleasant history. In order to do so, there are a couple of options available both during the divorce proceeding or after the divorce has been finalized.

After the break up of a marriage, a woman can:

  1. Keep her soon-to-be ex’s husband’s last name, or;
  2. Change her last name back to her maiden name (or any other name).

In Michigan, if a woman desires to change her last name after a divorce then she should state it in her complaint. The benefit of stating the intention in the complaint is that she won’t be charged extra and there are also fewer steps.

If she doesn’t state it in her complaint, she can still change her last name after the divorce has been finalized. As noted, there are more steps in this stage and will cost more money. The steps include:

  • File a new complaint for a name change.
  • Get fingerprints taken and criminal background check.
  • Publish notice in legal news.
  • Go before a judge and have the name change approved.

Remember: After the name change, don’t forget to notify the US Social Security Administration and the Michigan Secretary of State. You should also notify all banks were you have accounts and credit card companies.

From the Author: Detroit Family Law Attorney

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