Can I Change My Last Name After Divorce?

Going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. Amidst all the stress and confusion, you may also be thinking about changing your last name.

Whether you want to move on from your past or simply start fresh, changing your last name can provide a sense of liberation and independence. Fortunately, if you live in Colorado, you can change your last name before or after your divorce is finalized.

Reasons People Change or Keep Their Last Name After Divorce

There are various reasons why someone might choose to change their last name or retain it after going through a divorce.

Some of these reasons can include:

  • For the sake of their children: Some people prefer to have the same last name as their children, making legal and school-related matters more straightforward.
  • Professional and social recognition: In some cases, people choose to keep their last name for professional, career, or social reasons, as it is linked to their established reputation or brand.
  • Personal identity: A person might feel more connected to their identity with their last name, regardless of marital status.
  • Emotional separation: For some people, reclaiming their last name can be a symbolic way of moving on and beginning a new chapter in life.

Regardless of the reasoning, changing or keeping your last name is a personal decision that is up to you.

Changing Your Last Name Before Divorce Is Finalized

If you want to change your name before the divorce is finalized, it’s best to do so at the beginning of the divorce process. The easiest way is to check the box on your petition for divorce on JDF 1101 and provide your previous name.

If you are responding to a petition for divorce on JDF 1103, you will have to provide your previous last name. Whether it's for personal reasons or practical purposes, it's good to know that this option is available to those going through a divorce in Colorado.

Changing Your Last Name After Divorce Is Finalized

If you've recently gone through a divorce, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all of the paperwork and legal jargon. Maybe you forgot to indicate your desire to restore your name on your petition or response forms, or perhaps you didn't even know that was an option.

Fortunately, there's still a way to regain your former name. Simply file JDF 1824 with the court where your decree for dissolution of marriage/civil union or legal separation was entered. You must also file JDF 1825 afterward.

Who to Contact After You Change Your Name

Once you have successfully changed your last name, it's also essential to notify the relevant institutions.

Institutions and offices to notify include:

  • Banks and financial institutions
  • State motor vehicle department
  • Credit card companies
  • Employers and professional licensing boards
  • Insurance providers
  • Alumni associations
  • Post office
  • Schools and daycares
  • Utility companies
  • Voting registrars

Remember that changing your last name after a divorce can be a personal and emotionally charged decision. Always consider the factors important to your individual situation and consult with an attorney when necessary. With the right resources and knowledge, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs, situation, and personal identity.

Contact Our Firm for Help

Divorce can be a tough and emotional process. It's never easy to end a marriage, and the aftermath can be overwhelming for anyone. When you're going through a divorce, it's important to have the right legal team to represent your interests and guide you through the process. This is where the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC can help.

Our experienced divorce lawyers have helped countless clients through their divorces, and we can help you, too. We understand the complexities of divorce law and can work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. We'll be by your side every step of the way, providing legal guidance and assistance to help you fill out your paperwork, providing advice, and ultimately helping you navigate through this challenging time.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you need help with your divorce. Contact us at (303) 647-4245 or fill out our online form.