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Was the name-change order missing from your divorce papers?

Many ex-wives choose to switch their names back to their original maiden names following divorce. However, the name-switch is not automatic. If you want to change your name, you have to include special language in your divorce papers.

Even if you've already finalized your divorce without a court order to change your name, you might be able to modify your divorce papers after the fact. Once the judge approves your request, you can use a certified copy of the divorce order as proof that you've returned to your former name. In some cases, even if you didn't include language in your divorce papers, you might be able to simply start using your maiden name again and request the change on your personal accounts and records. Often, all that is required is your birth certificate or an old passport to do this.

It could be far more challenging -- but certainly not impossible -- if you want to switch your name to an entirely new one following your divorce. You may also find it harder to change your name if you're a recently naturalized United States citizen, or if you're having trouble locating documentation of your previous name -- such as your birth certificate, passport or social security card.

No matter where you're at in your divorce proceedings, if you want to change your name back to your maiden name after your divorce, be sure to talk to your Minnesota family law attorney about it. Your lawyer will know how to ensure that you return to your former name after your divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Changing Your Name After Divorce," accessed April 25, 2017

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