Centuori & Associates, PC

Arizona women who are contemplating a divorce may be interested in some information on changing their name after the marriage ends. The process is usually simple, though difficulties may arise in some situations.

After a divorce, it is relatively common for a woman to change her last name back to her maiden name. Generally, this is done through the court order that makes the divorce final. However, if this is not the case, there may be options to make the name change legal after the fact. In some cases, the state will allow the divorce decree to be modified afterwards in order to reflect the legal name change. In other situations, when there is no option to modify the divorce papers, the woman can simply begin to use her former name and have it changed on her various personal records. This sometimes requires that documentation of the maiden name be shown, such as an old passport or her birth certificate.

For children, changing the name to their mother's maiden name can be more difficult. Traditionally, courts give the child the father's last name. This traditional rule is still in place in many of the nation's courts, but there is a perceptible shift in some jurisdictions. Usually, the court will take into account the best interests of the child and in the process will examine a number of factors in determining whether or not to allow the name change. These factors include whether there will be any negative impact on the child as a result of the change.

An attorney may be helpful to a client throughout this process. The attorney may be able to assist with the name change, along with other divorce issues that may be able to be resolved through mediation.

Source: FindLaw, "Changing Your Name After Divorce", accessed on Jan. 20, 2015

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