Changing your name when getting a divorce
Finally, you’re free! After all the squabbling, the legal battles, and the stress, you are finally divorced. Congratulations! Now, about that name of yours…
Now it’s not a requirement to change your name back after your marriage falls apart. But if you do want to make the change, it’s not that hard to do. The best time to take care of it would be during the divorce proceedings. If you wait until the divorce is final, then you will have to pay extra fees as well as go through another court procedure. In fact, in New Jersey you can request to change your name in the initial paperwork filed with the court. This is a routine matter and the court will approve the change, as long as it’s not because you’re avoiding creditors or criminal matters.
But let’s say you want to change your child’s name to yours. This gets a little more difficult. Traditionally, the court has ruled the child had to keep the father’s name; however, times have changed. When you petition the court, the judge will take into consideration several factors such as how long the child had the name, the relationship between the parents and child, the child’s need to identify with the new family (in the case of a remarriage), and of course if the change is in the child’s best interest.