Once you have obtained a judgment of divorce, you can change your name back to your maiden name or the name you were using at the time of your marriage. The law allowing for a name change applies to men and women – anyone who changed their name as a result of a divorce. Importantly, it is not required that someone change their name back to their maiden name; meaning, you cannot force your spouse to resume use of their maiden name. This article will outline the steps you can take to change your name following your divorce.

1. Language in Your Judgment

Although it is not required to legally change your name, it is helpful to ask your attorney to include language in your judgment of divorce allowing you to resume use of the name you were using at the time of your marriage. Louisiana Social Security does not require this language; however, some other states do require the language. It is helpful to include the language so you do not run into any issues. If you do not have name change language in your judgment of divorce and you run into a problem, you can later file an easy motion to return to use of the name you were using at the time of your marriage. Make sure to obtain a few certified copies of your judgment of divorce or name change judgment to provide to the various agencies you will need to change you name with.

2. Primary Agencies

Begin changing your name with Primary Name Change Agencies such as the Social Security Administration, IRS, DMV, Passport and Voter Registration. 

To change your name on your social security card, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or your local social security office. Complete the SS-5 form, application and other required documentation. The Social Security Administration automatically informs the Internal Revenue Service so you will not be responsible for any additional paperwork.

To change your name at the DMV, bring a certified copy of your judgment of divorce to your local DMV and change your name on your license and registration. If you are moving, make sure to also update your address.

You may be able to change your name on your passport through the mail. See the Department of State Website to determine whether you are eligible to change your name through the mail or if you need to visit your local passport office.

You can change your name on your voter registration through the Louisiana Secretary of State Website.

3. Secondary Agencies

Most banks will require you to fill out a form in-person with documentation of the reason for the name change so be sure to bring a certified copy of your judgment of divorce along with your new identification from the DMV. You will need to order new checks and sign a signature card reflecting your new name.

At your place of employment, contact the HR (Human Resource) Department who may take care of your name change on your retirement and investment plans as well as notify your medical and dental insurance providers for you.Changing your name requires a lot of paperwork, but is a fairly simple process.

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