Search Site

Changing Your Name During Divorce

You have the right — but not the obligation — to change your name during divorce proceedings. Every individual needs to make this very personal choice for his or herself.

You might choose to readopt your maiden name — or even to create a new last name — to make a fresh start after the end of your marriage. Alternatively, you might decide to keep your married name because you have used it professionally or because you believe it is best for your children if you keep the same name.

Whatever your reasons, you can include the name change in your final divorce judgment. The court does not charge an additional fee or require your appearance at another hearing to complete the process at that time. If you decide to change your name after your divorce is finalized, you must petition the court, appear at a hearing and pay a fee.

To be eligible for a name change, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have resided in Minnesota for at least six months prior to finalization of your divorce
  • File your divorce petition in the county where you currently live
  • Affirm that you have no fraudulent intent for changing your name — for example to avoid paying a debt, being sued or being arrested or charged with a crime

A court order does not automatically change your name at government agencies, businesses or your place of employment. After your divorce, you need to take steps to notify relevant agencies so you can legally change your name on such important documents as:

  • Social Security card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Voter registration
  • Permanent resident card (green card)
  • Employment records
  • School transcripts
  • Insurance policies
  • Financial records
  • Minnesota and federal tax returns
  • Utilities bills
  • Government programs (e.g., Veterans’ benefits)

Your name is your identity. The decision you make will have consequences on your life. If you want to change your name, an experienced MN family law attorney can explain the process and guide you through post-divorce matters to complete the name change process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


Contact us

Quick Contact Form