January 30, 2012

To Keep Or Change Last Name?

Are you in the process of a divorce and thinking if you will keep or change your last name? It is a simple process to do as part of a divorce, and harder if you decide to do it after the divorce is completed.

In Oregon at the time of divorce, the court can change the name of either spouse to a name the spouse held before the marriage.

Do you feel you need your former name for a fresh start? Do you have kids, and how will a name change affect the children at school and with their peers? Are you an established professional with goodwill attached to your current last name? There are a lot of considerations to go through in deciding what is the right choice for you.

If you decide to change your name, plan on spending substantial time working on it.

Here are some things that you need to do when you will change your last name:

  1. Get new identification cards, such as drivers license or state ID card, social security, etc.
  2. Inform people, agencies and organizations, and and companies of the change of name. You should let your bank, schools, doctors, postal office, insurance companies, business associates, family members, retirement accounts, and friends know.  Be ready for supporting documents when updating information.
  3. Once you have completed #2, get a credit report to make sure your account information is showing accurately.
  4. Update important papers, such as a will, advanced directive, power of attorney, motor vehicle tile, etc.