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Changing your name after divorce in Pennsylvania

Marriage and divorce are the most common reasons cited for changing a last name. If you are divorcing your spouse and wish to change your last name, follow these easy steps.

File a “Notice to Resume Prior Surname” form at a Pennsylvania county prothonotary office either before or after the divorce has been finalized. The notice will need to contain information from the divorce case. This information can be included by way sending a certified copy of your Pennsylvania divorce decree. Ensure that the divorce decree includes a provision granting your desired name change. You’ll also need provide proof of identification (driver's license, state ID, or passport) and proof of age (adoption decree, hospital record, or birth certificate).

Once you have changed your name, notify the following parties:

  • Social Security Office
    • Complete an application (form SS-5) for a Social Security card
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Apply for an updated driver’s license
  • Place of employment (optional)

You may choose to change your name at the start of your divorce or at the end. Wherever you are in your divorce, it may be helpful to receive the advice of an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help you sort through spousal support agreements, asset distribution, custody arrangement amendments and more.

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