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How to change your name after Divorce

As part of the divorce process, it is very simple to change your name so long as your attorney makes sure paperwork is done properly.

What can you change your name to? You can choose a prior name to change your name to or it is even possible to change your name to any name you want! Make sure you tell your attorney BEFORE your divorce paperwork has been signed so that this legal name change is correct.

How is this done? Your divorce decree will legally spell out what you wish your new name to be, however, this does not legally change it.

How do I legally change my name? To actually change your name, you will need to obtain a CERTIFIED copy of your Judgment of Divorce from the Circuit Court Clerk (usually costs between $15-$30). Once you have this certified document, you will need to schedule appointments with BOTH the Secretary of State and Social Security Administration to take this document to them, with proper ID, preferably on the same day to legally change your name. It is important you go to BOTH, otherwise, you will create confusion with more than one legal name.

How do I get a Certified Copy? Your attorney can assist you with obtaining this document. You can also contact the Circuit Court Clerk, schedule an appointment and go to the Courthouse yourself to pay and receive a Certified Copy of your Judgment of Divorce.

How long do I have? If your Judgment of Divorce has your name change in it but you aren't quite ready to change your name, you have up to ten (10) years from the date of the entry of the Judgment of Divorce (when it is signed by the Judge) to do the above steps to change your name.

What if my Judgment of Divorce doesn't have a name change? You will have to go through the Probate Court to do a name change, which is a much longer process.

Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation.269-381-4471


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