Date:March 16, 2015
When parties divorce, each begin a new chapter in their lives. Many newly-divorced individuals wish to liberate themselves completely from their former spouse, including their surnames. Part of this process may include regaining one’s identity, most commonly a maiden name, which may be desired for personal and/or professional purposes.
The easiest way to change one’s name when getting divorced is to simply have the change incorporated into the Decree of Divorce. If you were never married but wish to change your name, or if a name change was not incorporated into the Decree of Divorce, the State of New Hampshire’s process for legally changing a name is not complex. The party requesting a name change (called the “Petitioner”) must file with the proper court of jurisdiction (the court empowered with the authority to grant or deny the Petition) a Petition for Change of Name. Unless related to a pending family law case, this is generally filed with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court within which the Petitioner resides. These documents must be completely and accurately filled out and the filing fee paid.
Once the proper documents have been filed with the court, the court may schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the requested name change will be granted or denied. If the court grants the Petition, the requested name change becomes the new legal name, however, the Petitioner is responsible for obtaining a new Social Security card bearing the name change, driver’s license, and other legal documents.
NH divorce attorney Anna Zimmerman has the experience and knowledge to successfully represent clients in a variety of family law matters. Attorney Zimmerman may be reached at (603) 624-7200.