Posted by: Dan Cunningham | January 13, 2013

How do I change my name after a divorce in New York?

This is a guide for women in New York State who want to change their name back to their maiden name after a divorce.  The first step is that you must be divorced.  You are not going to be able to do this until after the divorce is over.  This not a guide on how to get divorced, which would take far more time and effort than I have set aside today.

In any event, your divorce judgment, which is the piece of paper the judge has signed granting you the divorce, should state that you have the right to use your former or maiden surname.  If you have a lawyer, they should take care of this.  It is standard that this language be in the divorce judgment. If you do not have a lawyer and are preparing the divorce papers yourself, a practice I discourage, make sure whatever forms you are using for the divorce include some language, which allows you to change your name back to your maiden name after the divorce.  The exact language is not important so long as it clearly states that you have the right to change your name back to your maiden name.

Okay, so now the divorce judgment with the proper language has been signed.  The next step is to file the divorce judgment with the county clerk’s office.  In other words, you bring the original divorce papers to the clerk of your county so that it can remain on file.  If you are unsure where the clerk of your county is  do a Google search and it is sure to pop up on the first page.  The reason you must file your divorce is to ensure that your divorce becomes part of the public record.  While at the county clerk’s office filing your original divorce judgment, you should ask for 3 certified copies of your judgment of divorce.  These are copies of your divorce with a large stamp indicating that they are identical copies of the original divorce.  The certified copies cost $5 each for a total of $15.

Now you have everything you need to change your name. The next step is to go to the social security office to change your social security card.  Bring a certified copy of your judgment of divorce as well as your birth certificate.  Tell them you want to change your name because you have just been divorced and they will hand you an application.  Fill it out and hand it to them with the certified copy of your divorce and you will soon get a new social security card

The next place you should go is to the DMV.  Bring one of the certified copies of the judgment of divorce as well as your new social security card.  Bring your birth certificate too just in case but I do not think you will need it. Tell them you want to change the name on your license as you have just been divorced and they will hand you an application.  Fill out the application and give them the second certified copy of your divorce.  The DMV will then issue you a license under your maiden name.

Now you have a new license and social security card.  Think of any other place where you have been issued an id under your married name.  Your new license and social security card should be sufficient proof to change anything else that needs changing, like your passport.  If the new license and social security card are not enough, bring the third certified copy of your judgment of divorce, which should clear up any remaining issues about whether you have the right to change your name.

I hope this helps!

For more information visit: Albany Divorce Lawyers

Saratoga Springs Divorce Attorneys

Saratoga criminal attorneys

Albany Criminal Lawyers

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