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How Do I Change My Last Name After a Divorce?

Once you split up from your former spouse, you may feel a breath of fresh air when you get to change your married name back to your maiden name, or perhaps to a new name altogether. After all, changing the name can be the sign of a fresh start and symbol of independence.

FindLaw states that changing the name after divorce is not usually a huge legal problem, but it can become a complicated ordeal if a child's last name is changed as well. It's usually best to have a Phoenix divorce lawyer request that the judge handling your divorce make a formal order restoring your former name or birth name. If the divorce decree contains the name change order, then there's no other necessary paperwork. With the official documentation, you can officially have your name changed on identification and personal records.

Changing the name of your child after a divorce is a bit more complicated, but can be done through a court petition. The name change usually only happens when the parental roles of a child are altered through a court order, which can include a child custody decree. A Phoenix family lawyer can help advocate in family court that a name change is in the child's best interest. More information about requesting the change of name for a child in the Phoenix area can be found at the Maricopa County Superior Court website. Any name change should not affect the rights or duties of either parent regarding custody, visitation, or child support.

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