If your Judgment of Divorce contains a provision for name change, you may change your name if you wish to do so.
Before you begin the process of changing your name, obtain a certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce. A certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce may be obtained at the clerk of court in the county in which you were divorced. Often, you may order a certified copy from the clerk of court online, pay the fee online, and they will mail you the certified Judgment of Divorce. If an online service is not available with your clerk of court, you may appear in person to obtain a copy. You may also contact the clerk of court via telephone and obtain instructions on how to order it over the phone or via mail.
Once you have your certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce, it’s time to update all your official records. Here are a few of the most important places to update your name change:
- SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: you will need a certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce, identification, birth certificate or passport, and original social security card. You should change your name with the Social Security Administration first before attempting to change your name elsewhere.
- MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICE: to change your driver’s license or state ID card. You will need a certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce, identification, birth certificate or passport, and new social security card (showing your new last name), and proof of residency.
- STATE DEPARTMENT: to change your US passport.
- DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: in the event you are receiving any veterans’ benefits
- VOTER REGISTRATION: to change your name for your state voter registration card
- SOCIAL SERVICE OFFICE: in the event you are enrolled in any state benefits programs and receiving any public benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, etc.
- TAX OFFICE: if you own a home, notify the city or county property tax office of your name change for the purposes of your property taxes
- FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS: this includes all financial institutions that you have an account with. Accounts include checking, savings, IRA, CD’s, 401K, pensions, any other retirement accounts.
- UTILITIES: to include you electric, gas, water, garbage,
- MONTHLY ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS
- CELL PHONE SERVICE PROVIDERS
- CABLE/INTERNET PROVIDER
- LOYALTY PROGRAMS: this includes airlines, hotels, department stores, etc.
- EMAIL ACCOUNTS
Divorce in Michigan is a complicated procedure with long-term implications. It’s important to understand your rights and duties at each stage of the proceeding so that you will be in the best position to move forward during and after the divorce. Advice from an experienced divorce attorney can make all the difference in your outcome.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, we work to ensure that our clients have the information and guidance they need to make the right decisions for their family and their future. Contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 401 Hall Street SW, Suite 112D, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.