How to Change Your Name in the State of Florida Due to Divorce

By Teo Spengler

While some women are agonizing about whether to take their fiances' surnames when they marry, others wrestle with what name they wish to use after a divorce. The issue is a personal one and your own decision may turn on how long you were married and whether you have minor children bearing their father's surname. If you are terminating your marriage in Florida, you can change your name during the divorce procedure without incurring an extra dime of expense by making the request in the dissolution petition.

While some women are agonizing about whether to take their fiances' surnames when they marry, others wrestle with what name they wish to use after a divorce. The issue is a personal one and your own decision may turn on how long you were married and whether you have minor children bearing their father's surname. If you are terminating your marriage in Florida, you can change your name during the divorce procedure without incurring an extra dime of expense by making the request in the dissolution petition.

Step 1

Find the paragraph on the dissolution petition form that addresses restoring or changing the wife's name. In some dissolution petitions, the section reads: Wife requests to be known by her former name, which was {full legal name}.

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Step 2

Check the "yes" box in front of this paragraph on the petition and do not check the "no" box. Follow the form instructions that tell you to check only one or the other.

Step 3

Enter the name you wish to use after divorce in the blank at the end of the name change paragraph. Use your full maiden name or enter a new surname, if you prefer. Cross out the language about former surname if it is not appropriate. Enter the name you wish to use in the "Request" section at the end of the petition. The court will include an order changing your name in the divorce decree.

Step 4

Take the original copy or a certified copy of the divorce decree to the local Social Security Administration office. Fill out an application for a Social Security card using your new name. Show the clerk your prior Social Security card, divorce certificate and United States passport. Wait about 10 days for your new card to arrive.

Step 5

Take the original copy or a certified copy of the divorce decree to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Ask that a new driver's license be issued to you in the new name.

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How to Legally Change a Child's Last Name in Florida

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Doing the right thing has never been easier.

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