In Virginia, you can change your name, both in your divorce proceedings and afterward, to your maiden or another name that you used prior to your marriage. You do not need to get your spouse’s consent to change your name.
Changing Your Name in Your Divorce
As part of your divorce proceedings, you can request that your name be changed. You must request this in your initial divorce pleadings or orally at your final hearing on your judgement of divorce. The judge can change your name back to a name you used prior to your marriage.
How to Change Your Name After Your Divorce Is Finalized
If you decide to change your name after your divorce has been completed, you can still do this without your ex-spouse’s permission. You must have lived in Virginia for six months to qualify. You would need to follow these steps:
- Complete Virginia’s “Application for Name Change” form.
- Have your signature on the form notarized.
- Gather the required documents that support your application. This includes your marriage certificate, birth certificate, and divorce judgment.
- File your application and supporting documents in the Virginia Circuit Court near where you live. You will also have to pay a filing fee.
- The court may grant your application automatically if the judge is satisfied that you met the requirements for a name change. However, you could be required to attend a hearing before your application is approved.
What to Do After your Name Change Is Completed
Once your name has legally been changed, you can begin using it. You will also need to notify others of your new name. Some parties that you should be sure to inform include:
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Social Security Administration
- Your bank
- Your retirement and other investment accounts
- Your credit card company
- Your health, auto, and home insurance companies
- Your utility companies, such as electric, phone, water, and cable
Do you have questions about changing your name or other aspects of your divorce? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation with a member of our family law legal team.