Second Weddings

Name change dilemma after divorce, help needed.

So, I am hoping someone can help me with my dilemma. I was divorced about 9 years ago. At that time, I did not go to court as my ex handled everying. I was awarded my name change to my maiden name in the divorce. However, I never changed it back anywhere. I didnt even realize my name was changed in court until recently. So, I am using my previous married name for everything. So, my current dillemma, I am getting remarried in about two months time. I have contacted the jurisdiction where we will be getting married and they said as long as I have my ID (old married name) and divorce decree I will be fine. But this seems scary to me. It is a destination wedding and i dont want to be turned away. Would you change it prior with DMV, SS and whoever else? Or does it really mean nothing at all anyway since it was given back in court, but never changed anywhere else. This just opens up such a crazy, confusing can of worms... I thought about calling an attorney but dont know if thats necessary. Please help or offer advice if you know anything about this. Thanks!

Re: Name change dilemma after divorce, help needed.

  • There are lots of people out there in the same boat as you. For whatever reason, they request the name change in court during the divorce, but then never follow through with it. Even though the court granted you permission to change your name, you are still actually legally known as by your married name because all of your ID forms contain that name. The divorce decree just gives you the court order to make the change if you want. So, since your IDs and your name matches, it should be a non-issue.

    However, I know for my DW, I had to provide a certified copy of my divorce decree no matter what. I never changed my name and all of my government documentation was still in my married name. They just required my decree because my last name on my birth cert was differernt than my legal last name and they wanted to ensure that I was legally able to wed. 


  • Thanks so much for your response! That makes me feel so much better!
  • Hi! Super new. Well, not really. I used the Knot for my first wedding and participated in the boards up until my marriage fell apart in 2010-11. I have since met a wonderful man and we became engaged in July, so I am back. 

    I see your predicament, although I think what the judge did to you is ridiculous and also a bit cruel. My ex and I were in the middle of paying off debt at the time of our dissolution and keeping my name never came up. As a matter of fact, I even added my father's birth name to my maiden/his adopted name without any question. I know it's tough, but I'd wait. My state also requires fees and public posting and it's incredibly tedious, not to mention banks, credit cards, even grocery cards! If you were planning on keeping your maiden name after reverting to it, I'd say do it now, but if you are taking your finace's, wait.

    Personally, I am not changing my name to my fiance's when we marry next year. I love my new name even though it's difficult to spell most people struggle to pronounce half of it. It honors my deceased father, and my family history. He knows this and supports it 100%. 
  • A coworker and I were going through divorce at the same time. She opted to ask for her name back in the divorce, but never changed it back, and has continued to go by her married last name. She's getting married today actually.

    I didn't ask for a name change in the divorce but about 9 mos after the divorce I decided to legally change mine back and went through the court process to get it back. 

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure that even though the judge said you can have that name back, you never made the steps to change it back with the SS office, DMV, etc so you should be good. In VA, it took me about 2 weeks to get a new license and even longer to get my new SS card. 

    My advice? Maybe sit down with a lawyer and see what the laws are. Consultations are free! Good luck!
  • @rox2112‌ I'm in VA too! Good to know!
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