Restoring your original last name DURING the divorce process is relatively straightforward in Indiana. Under Indiana law, if a person wishes to restore their maiden name, they must request the change in their petition for dissolution as part of the relief sought. Conversely, if the filing party is not the party wishing to change their name, the other party will likely have to file a cross-petition to have their name restored.
However, if you wish to change your name AFTER your divorce is finalized, the process is more difficult and time-consuming. At that point, you will need to file a name change petition with the local court. The petition must be notarized. Additionally, you will have to pay an additional court filing fee (currently, $157). After the court is petitioned, the court will order the name change as part of the final divorce decree. Afterward, you need to update your Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport as soon as possible.
To change your name with the Social Security Administration, you must complete a new Social Security card application. You will also need to provide proof of your identity, U.S. citizenship, and the reason for the name change (i.e., the divorce). Once the application is complete, you will need to take your application and supporting documentation to your local Social Security office. Your new Social Security card should be mailed to you within 2 to 3 weeks.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will require similar documentation to amend your diver’s license to reflect your name change. Make sure you’ve updated your name with the Social Security Administration before going to the BMV. Your legal name and date of birth on the documents presented to the BMV must match Social Security Administration records. Note that the BMV will only accept original documents or certified copies from the BMV.
The application process for changing your name on your passport varies depending on your situation (Click here to determine which application applies to your situation). At a minimum, you must submit your most recent U.S. passport, one color passport photo, and documentation supporting the name change (e.g., the divorce decree or court order).
Changing your name because of a divorce can be a hassle. If you have any questions or need any assistance during the process, the Family Law attorneys at McNeelyLaw are here to help.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.