Minnesota law allows a person to change his or her last name in a divorce, but changing a last name is a very personal choice and is a sensitive issue. One spouse cannot force the other to change their last name. Often a mom struggles with changing her last name having it be different from her children. Clients often go back and forth on this issue which is understandable. Our names – first and last – are our identity.
One realistic issue for a person to think about is the time and expense that comes with a name change. This is a partial list of some of the agencies and businesses a person who has changed their name in a divorce needs contacts:
- Driver’s license bureau (a license must be changed within 30 days)
- Social Security Administration
- Secretary of State to change voting record
- IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue
- Insurance companies, retirement plans and pension plans
- Payroll and human resources at work
- County financial worker, if public assistance
- Department of Motor Vehicles to change car titles
- The attorney who drafted a will or trust
- Credit card companies
- College or university to update records
- If you are a male of draft age, the registration office
- The military branch where serving
- Doctor, dentist, pharmacy and other health providers
- United States Post Office for a change of address
- US Department of State to change passport
For some the time and expense to change a name in a divorce is not worth it.
Lastly, a person wanting a name change who has been convicted of a felony cannot do a name change without going through some specific steps.
For further information about divorce, please contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle to schedule a consultation by calling (218) 722-2655.