Did you change your name when you got married? If so, you may want to change it back after a divorce. While not everyone goes back to their maiden name after a divorce, it is certainly not uncommon. For those who want to change back to their previous name, Ohio has procedures in place to help make the process less complicated. In this article, our Toledo divorce attorneys explain the most important things you should know about Ohio’s process for changing your name after a marital separation.
Ohio Law: Getting a Name Change After a Divorce
Technically speaking, an adult can seek a name change at any time. You do not have to go through a divorce—or any other major life change—to file for a name change. That being said, if you are preparing to end your marriage, it is best to decide if you want to go back to your previous name before your divorce is finalized. Here is an overview of the three basic steps you should take to change your name after a divorce in Ohio:
- Restore Your Name Upon Finalization of Your Divorce: Under Ohio law (Oh. Rev. Code § 3105.16), a court that grants a divorce has the legal authority to “restore any name that the person had before the marriage.” In effect, this means that you can submit paperwork to change your name back to your maiden name as part of your divorce petition. Your former spouse has no ability to block your name change or, for that matter, to force you to change your name. It is your right to decide.
- Complete an Application With the Social Security Administration (SSA): Once your divorce is finalized and the name change is approved, you should submit an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The federal agency has an online accessible application that you can use to update your information.
- File the Paperwork at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV): Finally, make sure you update your records with your local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). A new, updated driver’s license should be issued to reflect the fact that you have changed your name.
If you are planning on changing your name back after a divorce in Ohio, it is important to go through all three steps in the process. You do not want to have conflicting names on federal and state government forms. Conflicting information could cause you stress and frustration that you do not want to deal with.
Get Help From a Divorce Lawyer in Ohio
At Groth & Associates, our Toledo divorce attorneys are dedicated to providing the highest level of client service and professional representation. If you have questions about changing your name after a divorce or any other family law matter, we can help. Call us or send us a message online for a completely confidential consultation. From our Toledo office, we represent people throughout Lucas County, including in Maumee, Oregon, Sylvania, and Waterville.