What to Do When Legally Changing Your Name in a Marriage

What to Do When Legally Changing Your Name in a Marriage

Although more people are choosing to keep their unmarried surnames, it’s important to understand the legal considerations if you are considering a name change after your married.

It’s especially important to make these considerations after a divorce when a spouse who took their partner’s surname decides to go back and use their original name. 

The state of Georgia has marriage name change laws that treat both spouses equally, allowing each partner to change their surname on a marriage license without requiring them to file a petition.

Taking Your Spouse’s Last Name

If you choose to take your spouse’s surname after you become married, you can simply start using the new name when making changes to your address, opening financial accounts, and completing other tasks that require some registration of your personal information. 

You also have the option to reach out to financial institutions and other organizations that already have your personal information and ask them to change your surname in their records. 

In some cases, this process can be simple. But the growing number of security breaches and fraud have forced many organizations to request legal documents that reflect your name change. 

Changing Your Name Without Using Your Partner’s Surname

As traditions change, so do the ways that individuals change their names in marriage. Choosing a name that’s different from your partner’s can require you to provide specific documentation. 

You may be required to complete a form and submit your new name, your previous name, and the reason why you are changing your name. 

Other information, such as your social security number and a signed statement that says you aren’t changing your name for fraudulent or other criminal purposes may also be required. 

Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you file the proper paperwork and ensure that you have complied with state laws. 

Changing Your Name After You’ve Been Married 

Individuals who have been married for some time can decide to change their name. In these cases, a petition must be completed and filed in the county where you live. 

In addition to paying a filing fee, you may need to advertise your new name in a local publication. When these steps have been completed, a court judge can enter an order to change your name. 

Notifying Others About Your Name Change

You’ll need to forward the court order to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration as well. 

Schools, employers, banks, and creditors are just some of the institutions you’ll need to inform about your name change. Your attorney can help you determine who you need to notify, including insurance agencies, state taxing authority, and the passport office. 

You’ll need to apply for a social security card that reflects your name change. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration will also need to be updated. You have 60 days after you’ve changed your name to update or license or state identification card. 

Many organizations offer online options for updating your information, making the process easier. 

You can legally change your name when getting married by following the proper legal channels. The process can be complex and difficult to navigate without the help of a legal professional. 

Working with an attorney who understands the legal requirements for changing your name can help you complete the process while avoiding any issues.