Changing your name after your marriage ends

There is no question that it's an annoyance to have to change your name when you get married and again upon divorce. Every time you sign up for something new, that's another account you have to remember to change in the future. Things like your license, bank account and passport all have to be adjusted to your new name, whatever you decide to make it.

For this reason, many people choose not to change their names back to what they were before they got married. For those who do, the reasoning makes changing their names back priceless. The process takes only around 15 minutes, even though reaching out to all the companies you have to change your name with could take hours or days.

Every legal and financial aspect of your life while married likely used your married name, so now, it's up to you to reach out to those organizations and businesses to change your name officially. Some documents have to be repurchased, like your passport, which is over $100, and a driver's license, which could cost upwards of $20, depending on the state you're in. Most things don't actually cost you anything when it comes to changing your name, but the time it takes makes up for the savings.

You may need to copy your divorce decree and mail it to several places, like your bank or investment firm. Any titled assets you have should be changed to your new name as well to avoid any risk of confusion. Your attorney can help provide you with information on different ways to change your name on all your personal documents.

Source: Reuters, "Your Money: Cost of a name change after divorce? Priceless," Beth Pinsker, March 26, 2018

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