Changing Your Name After Divorce

name-change-bridal-opulenceMany changes will happen during your Chapel Hill divorce. From moving out of your shared home and deciding custody agreements for your children to arranging meetings with your Chapel Hill divorce lawyer, there are endless loose ends that must be tied up prior to a final divorce decree being entered. Sometimes, women going through a divorce have a few final steps to take care of during separation. One of the last things that a woman does after deciding to divorce is changing her last name from her ex-spouses’ to a surname of her choice. Although it sounds like a complicated process, changing your name after your Chapel Hill divorce is actually quite simple and easy to accomplish.

The first step in changing your name after your divorce is filling out the official application- the AOC-SP-600 form- for resuming your former name. You can either download this form from the Internet or obtain it from the civil division in the Orange County Courthouse by asking the Clerk of Court for a copy. You must then locate and complete the “Divorce” section on the AOC-SP-600 Form.

North Carolina has a specific statute regarding name changes for divorced women. The law says that a divorced woman may change her name to either: (1) her maiden name, (2) the last name of a former deceased husband, or (3) the last name of a former living husband, if she has children who carry that last name. Your Chapel Hill divorce lawyer can assist you in determining the course of action that suits you best.

Any three of these name changes require presentation of a valid photo ID, completion of the appropriate forms, and payment of the applicable fee. It is important to note that the application for name change must contain your current full name, birthday and county of birth, in addition to the names of your parents. And, of course, the application must include your desired name change.

Also, make sure to sign the completed name change application in the presence of a notary or authorized court clerk. After you complete the application, you must present the form, along with your official divorce decree, to the Clerk of Court in Orange County. Since resumption of a prior name is not considered a special proceeding, it is filed with the Clerk’s Office Civil Division located in the Orange County Courthouse.

Once you change your name, be sure to let your Chapel Hill divorce lawyer know so he or she can properly fill out any forms relating to your divorce. Changing your name after your divorce seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be – have all appropriate forms and information handy prior to starting the application, and it is a fairly quick process.


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