When people get married, they often follow the tradition of changing their names. The most common form is for a wife to take her husband's last name. However, there are other variations, such as both individuals hyphenating their last names into one or changing their last names altogether. On the other side, when a couple is separating and divorcing, there's often a desire to change names to further separate from the ex.
In North Carolina, there are several ways to change your name. You can include a request to resume your maiden name in your complaint for divorce (your divorce petition). Another option would be to file an application to resume your former name. This form is filed with your local Office of the Clerk. It's important to keep in mind the possible outcomes and the financial impact of changing your surname. Let's take a closer look at a couple of these.
First, all of your former documents will be invalid. This will mean you'll need to apply for new documents such as a passport, social security card, etc. Many of these applications include processing fees. You'll be looking at the financial output to complete the process.
Another potential ramification can occur with your tax returns. When you file your taxes, the name on your tax return must match the Social Security Administration records. If there is a mismatch in the names, your tax refund could be delayed.
You must remember to notify the appropriate places of your name change so that you don't encounter these concerns. Here's a checklist of places to keep in mind.
- Utility company
- Social Security Administration (Do this at least 24-36 hours before the NCDMV name change notification. It must be in person at your local office)
- North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (you have 60 days from when the change occurs to notify them)
- Any credit card companies you have cards with
- Banks or Credit Unions where you have accounts
- Any student loans
- Insurance providers, such as health, homeowners, renters, car, etc.
- Your employer
Skilled North Carolina Family Law Attorneys
If you're currently contemplating a name change or considering divorce, the lawyers at Jerkins Family Law can help. Call us at 919-719-2785 or reach out online for assistance.