Can You Get Your Name Changed as Part of a Divorce in Tennessee?

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19.3.2024

Can You Get Your Name Changed as Part of a Divorce in Tennessee?

Did you give up your maiden name when you got married in Tennessee? If you are preparing for a divorce, you may be considering changing your name back. You generally have the right to change your name after a divorce—and the process does not have to be especially complicated. Here, our Franklin divorce attorney provides an overview of the key things to know about the law/process of getting a name change after a divorce in Tennessee.

Divorce: You Can Keep Your Name or Change Your Name

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that you have the right to change (or keep) your name after a divorce in Tennessee. It is a personal decision. There is no one right or wrong approach. Our state recognizes the significance of this choice. State policy understands that a name can be an integral part of an individual's identity. As such, the legal system in Tennessee provides a streamlined process for name changes during divorce.

Step #1: Get a Certified Copy of the Divorce Decree

The first step in legally changing your name in Tennessee after a divorce is to obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree. When you take action to change your name back to your maiden name, you will need a copy of the official divorce paperwork. You can request a certified copy from the clerk's office of the court where your divorce was finalized. Your lawyer can make sure you have a copy.

Step #2: Change Your Name at a Driver Services Center

At the state level, you change your name with driver services. As explained by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, “you must visit a Driver Service Center to make changes to your name.” In doing so, a person must bring a “current license and the original or certified document showing the reason for the change.”

In other words, the process for changing your name when you get divorced in Tennessee is similar to the process for changing your name when you get married. You can go to the local Driver Service Center with the right paperwork and you can leave with access to a new license that includes the correct (updated) name.

Step #3: Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration (SSA)

Make sure you also change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). To do this, you'll need to fill out an application for a new Social Security card and provide documents proving your legal name change, identity, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. This typically includes your certified divorce decree, current Social Security card, and a form of identification such as a driver's license. Updating your Social Security paperwork will avoid discrepancies.

Contact Our Franklin, TN Divorce Attorney Today

At Campbell Perky Johnson, PLLC, our Tennessee divorce lawyer is a skilled, experienced advocate for clients. We solve problems. If you have any questions about name changes after a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a confidential consultation. With an office in Franklin, our firm provides future-focused family and divorce representation throughout the region.

https://www.tn.gov/safety/driver-services/classd/dlnamechange.html#:~:text=You%20must%20visit%20a%20Driver,or%20the%20original%20court%20order.