Name change after divorce


Name change after divorce

Wedding Rings with circle of text reading "How do I change my name after divorce?"To change your name after divorce, you can file a motion in Family Court as part of a pending or post judgment divorce case. If your judgment of divorce stipulates that you can resume your birth name, you do not need to file any other motion. You can then apply for a new Social Security card without cost with the Social Security Administration office, using the judgment of divorce as proof. You will be given a gold seal copy of your judgment of divorce for name change at the time of the entry of the final judgment of divorce. Keep that document in a safe place, as there will be a cost to obtain additional copies.

A name change as a result of a recent marriage, does not require a court order. A name change that does not relate to marital status requires a separate action to be filed in civil court in New Jersey.  Likewise, a name change application sought more than six months following a divorce will also require a separate action to be filed in civil court.

Is there a time limit to changing name after divorce in NJ? 

Technically, there is not a limit to changing your name after divorce. In fact, there is at least one case in New Jersey that suggests that at any time, following a judgment of divorce, a party should be able to resume their birth name. It is common practice for a name change in New Jersey after divorce to be handled at the time of the divorce or within one year. While there are not any clear rules, some counties will not accept an application in family court if the judgment of divorce was entered more than one year prior in which case, it would have to be handled in civil court.  

Can I keep my ex husband’s last name after divorce? 

Yes, a person cannot be compelled to change their name after divorce even if their former spouse wants them to do so.

Can I use my passport with my married name after divorce? 

If you plan to keep your name and do not intend to change your name after your divorce, the answer is yes, you can use your passport with your married name after your divorce. However, if you change your name, then you will need to change all official documents so that they are consistent. 

Should I change my name after divorce? 

Whether or not you change your name and resume your birth name after divorce is a personal choice. Understanding the procedure of divorce and name change can provide clarity in making this decision. The divorce process is emotionally difficult and sometimes, as part of that process, people wish to change their name altogether, or resume their birth name. You will not be required to do so, should you decide that you do not want to change your name after divorce. Oftentimes, people keep their names, especially if there are children born of the marriage.

If there are not any lawsuits, criminal charges, or bankruptcy or debt issues, pending name changes are granted routinely as part of the entry of a final judgment of divorce. It is recommended to address this at the time of the pending divorce. Otherwise, a separate lawsuit will need to be filed in civil court seeking the name change if you do not seek the name change after divorce close enough in time after the divorce case ends, which will require additional work and will be more costly if you are represented by counsel. 

List of documents to change after divorce 

Keep in mind documents needed for name change after divorce such as 

  1.  Passport
  2.  Driver’s license
  3. Automobile insurance 
  4. Health insurance 
  5. Vehicle registration
  6. Car title 
  7. Voter registration card

You will also want to notify companies that you deal with for payment of bills, insurances, post office boxes etc. 

While, you do not need an attorney to file a name change after divorce, it is recommended that you have an attorney representing you when making applications to the court. Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge, we represent parties at all phases of litigation in family court. If you are seeking a name change after divorce in New Jersey contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are here to help.


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