Reclaim Your Maiden Name

After a divorce, most women want to erase all traces of the failed relationship from their lives. One of the most important things for many women is ridding themselves of their former husband's last name and taking back their own identity by reclaiming thier maiden name. While this can be a time consuming process, the peace of mind and mental healing that can be provided by changing your name is well worth the effort, especially in the case of a nasty and painful breakup.

In most areas, the first steps of a legal name change can be handled as part of the initial divorce hearings. The name change paperwork will be filed, the change granted by the judge and you can move on with your old identity. In other states or if the decision to change your name is made after a divorce is granted, you will need to file a name change with the courts, then appear in front of a judge for an approval. Either way, the initial procedure is relatively painless. Your lawyer can provide advice if you want assistance.

The real work behind reverting to your maiden name comes after the request is granted legally. All of your accounts and documentation must be changed to your maiden name and that can take some time and effort, on your part. Be sure to have copies of the name change documentation to send to companies with which you have accounts. The best place to start is with your driver's license, passport, social security card or other state and government identification. Utility companies, loan accounts, and credit card companies all need to be informed of the changes. The human resource department of your employer should also be notified of the changes to ensure that paychecks are issued properly and income tax information is reported correctly. Insurance policies, vehicle registrations and investment accounts should be changed to reflect the new information, as well.

The choice to reclaim your maiden name is an important one. It can be empowering and liberating to return to your former self after the stress and pain that is often brought by divorce. By taking the proper legal steps, as required by your state, and by informing the necessary people of the change, you can get your maiden name back without much hassle at all and move on with your life.

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