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ND Divorce Laws: Changing Your Name

People often change their name when marrying or divorcing. In a divorce, you have the option of returning to your maiden name or premarital surname, to separate yourself from your partner. Changing your name affects both your personal and professional life. The change needs to be judicially approved before you can change your name on any legal documents (ie passports, licenses, Social Security).

If you’re unsure of your circumstances, consult a family law attorney today. Gjesdahl Law offers experienced attorneys with insights on navigating all changes associated with divorce, including helping you gather all documents needed to petition for a name change.

Please review our Initial Contact Questions or get in touch with us online to schedule a consultation.

Filing For a Name Change During Divorce

Restoring your maiden name can be easily handled during the divorce process in North Dakota. All you will need to do beforehand is finalize whether you want to restore

your maiden name or not. Then you can follow these steps:

  1. Include a name change on your divorce Complaint.
  2. Once your divorce is finalized, your name will be officially changed.
  3. Use your divorce decree as legal authority to change your name on any legal documents/accounts.

Changing Your Name After Divorce

A name change not associated with your divorce action takes longer, costs more, and is more complicated. If, after your divorce, you decide to return to your original surname/maiden name, then you can follow these steps outlined by the North Dakota courts:

  • Publish a Notice of Petition for Name Change in a newspaper.*
  • Receive Affidavit of Publication from the newspaper.
  • Complete remaining name change documents.
  • Compile any written objections you may receive from the publication.
  • File the Original Petition, Affidavit, Confidential Information Form, Notice of Petition for Name Change, Order Granting Name Change (Proposed), Affidavit of Publication, and any Written Objections with the Clerk of Court.
  • Pay the $80.00 filing fee or file the completed petition to waive fees.
  • Get your criminal history background check if the court requires you to get one.
  • Request a certified copy of the Order Granting Name Change.

*This step may be skipped with the court’s permission. The courts will grant this under two circumstances:

“Domestic Violence includes physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity, compelled by physical force, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, sexual injury compelled by physical force, or assault, not committed in self-defense, on the complaining family or household member.”

Name Change FAQs

Who should I notify of a name change after divorce?

You’ll want to notify:

  • The US Postal Service
  • Social Security Administration
  • Your bank
  • Your employers
  • Insurance providers
  • Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers
  • Schools (if you have a child who attends school)

Additionally, you will want to change your name on these documents/accounts:

  • Passports
  • License(s)
  • Car title and registration
  • Property titles
  • Social Security Card
  • Credit/Debit cards
  • Bank accounts
  • Will and other contracts
  • Club memberships
  • Personal emails
  • Utilities and bills

Can I just start using my maiden name again?

You can use your maiden name until your official paperwork is cleared. You can even update certain non-legal documents/accounts (ie personal emails) with your maiden name to get the transition process started quicker. However, for your SSC, license, passport, and other legal documents you will need to wait for courts to approve your petition.

How much does it cost to change your last name after divorce in North Dakota?

There is an $80.00 filing fee when you petition for an adult name change; You will pay your attorney, too.

Considering Divorce?

Speak with a Gjesdahl Lawyer today to discuss your options. We’re a family law office dedicated to providing families with the proper support they need to seamlessly transition into new dynamics during and after divorce. For more general information on our North Dakota divorce services, you can read our blog or review our divorce term glossary.

 (701) 237-3009