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Name Change After Divorce In Arizona

How To Change Name After Divorce In Arizona

What are the possibilities?

Name Change is always an intensely personal decision, whether you think about it before or after the divorce.  Retaking your pre-marriage last name, your Maiden Name, is a common question. Should you, shouldn’t you, maybe … ?

If you do decide to take your maiden name back after divorce, you have some options. Besides a Maiden Name (last name) Change, you can also change your first or middle names if you want. There are different processes, depending on what kind of Name Change After Divorce you want.  

Once you have decided on exactly what your after-divorce name will be, then you should get that done in the easiest, surest and most cost-effective way. You may still be in the divorce process. Or, your divorce may already be final. There are options for you, either way. 

There are two basic ways to get your Name Changed after Divorce:

  1.  Divorce Decree.
  2. Order Changing Name of An Adult

The Divorce Decree Name Change method can only be used until your divorce is final and only to restore your Maiden Name After Divorce. The Order Changing Name can be applied for anytime and can be used to retake a Maiden Name or to Change to any New Legal Name you want After Divorce. 

Changing Your Name During the Divorce Process - Divorce Decree Name Change

To get your Maiden Name back, all you need to do is correctly complete a form BEFORE your divorce is final.  If you have an attorney, just make sure your attorney has your New Name included in the Divorce Decree forms the judge will be signing.

Sometimes people want their Maiden Name back before their divorce will be final and then you can opt to file a separate Name Change Application case where the name change can be processed by itself. That costs extra money, so it only makes sense to do in very specific circumstances.

Application for Changing Name of an Adult - Maiden Or Any Other Type Of Name Change After Divorce

If you are an Arizona resident now, you can legally take back your Maiden Name, even if your Divorce is already over. That Civil Court process is Application for Change of Name, and permits you to request your old name back or to ask for any variation you want, including an entirely New Legal Name if that’s what you want.

The Application for Change of Name is a little bit completed, and isn’t free. But, you can have assistance from a Full Service Name Change Specialist, like EZ Name Change, or from an attorney. You can do it yourself, with no added costs for help, if you’ve got the extra hours and patience. Using an attorney will be more expensive, but that’s another option too. You can see more information about Arizona Name Change Costs here.

Using Your Divorce Court to Change Your Name

In Arizona, there is a court form to fill out that will, upon the judge signing the Divorce Decree, legally restore your Maiden Name. The form to fill out depends on whether you are the Petitioner or the Respondent. But, either way, you can get your pre-marriage name back if you want.

If you filed the divorce, as Petitioner, there is a Section to fill out on the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If you are the Respondent in the divorce case, get the form called “Request to Restore Maiden Name” and complete that.  Just make sure you have the right form completed and filed before your divorce is final. That’s the easiest and least costly way to retake your former legal name.  Done correctly, as soon as your divorce is final, you have the document to restore your  Maiden Name on all your ID.

Once a judge signs your Divorce Decree, you can get a Certified Copy of it to use for updating your records. A Court Order Restoring Your Maiden Name After Divorce has just the same legal effect as any other Name Change Court Order when it comes to your ID or Official Records in Arizona or anywhere else.

The Other Name Change After Divorce Option in Arizona - Order Changing Name

In Superior Court, you can Apply for Your Name Change, in the County where you live now. Here, you have a lot more Name Change Choices available to you: 

  1. Maiden Name
  2. First Name variation or entirely New First Name.
  3. Any Middle Name, or eliminate your Middle Name altogether.
  4. Brand New Last Name, Any Former Legal Last Name, Any variation, with or without hyphens, more than one last name. 

You can request any first, middle or last name you want, providing your choice doesn’t cause harm, damage or danger and is otherwise acceptable to your judge.

Name Change Choices After Divorce in Arizona: Maiden Name or New Name

What Name you will have afterward isn’t the most important part of getting divorced, but it is important to your identity from then on . Restoring a Maiden Name is a traditional choice, and can be done as part of your divorce or after divorce in a civil court name change case. You won’t likely be able to make changes to your birth name in this process, which is just fine form most people who want to retake their Maiden Name after divorce.

If you want to take a New Name After Divorce, it will likely be one of these two types:   

  1. A variation of your birth name. Maybe you prefer to spell your name differently, use the formal or the familiar style, or eliminate one part of your name entirely.
  2. A brand new name. Some people want to turn the page in a bigger way by taking a nickname as their legal name, or perhaps choosing a name that fits the person they have become. A New Name can be an important part of a new life.

Other Certificate

A Citizenship (or naturalization) Certificate is also a proper Name Change Document, if properly done. This too must show your full legal name before Citizenship and After. It must be signed by a legally authorized government authority who reviewed your background. If you complete Citizenship and get a properly processed Name Change within your Citizenship procedure, a Certified Copy of your Citizenship Certificate can be used to update ID after divorce. 

The other Certificate that can be an official Name Change Document, if properly processed, is a  Marriage Certificate. A Certified Copy of a new Marriage Certificate would also be a valid way to get your ID updated to your New Married Name.

Court Certificate - Court Order

To get your name printed on your ID, exactly the way you want, you’ll need a Certified Copy of a proper Name Change Document. There are many official Name Change Documents, but the one that is universally honored is  an Order Changing Name of an Adult from an Arizona Superior Court. 

Upon Approval, you can get your Certified Name Change Court Order after going through the Superior Court Application process in the County where you live now.  Visit this page about “How to Change Your Name in Arizona” to learn more about the process.  Like all court processes, the Legal Name Change Application process can be a little complicated, and there are some expenses, but you can have help such as Full Service from EZ Name Change.

A Certified Copy of an Order Changing Name will have the Seal of the State, the signature of a duly authorized clerk or other officer of the court, and the judicial officer who granted the name change. It will also show the former legal name(s), side-by-side with the New Legal Name, and it’s honored everywhere.

With a Certified Name Change Court Order you can update any Arizona or US ID, and all Official Records including financial and birth certificate. 

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