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Tips for name change after a Florida divorce

Ending a marriage necessitates an ever-increasing list of "to do" items. For many Florida spouses, one of those items includes changing their name once the divorce is made final. While not everyone seeks a name change after a divorce, for many it is a symbol of a new start in life, and a way to reclaim their identity as an individual. This article offers a range of useful tips for a post-divorce name change.

The first place to begin is with identification documents, as these will be required to make many secondary name changes. While no one relishes the thought of a visit to the DMV, that's an appropriate place to begin. Be sure to collect all documentation as outlined on the DMV website, including documentation of the divorce. The next step for most is a trip to the Social Security office to have a new card issued in the new name.

Financial accounts should be next on the list. A name change usually requires a visit to the bank or other financial institutions. While there, be sure to check that the name change will apply to all accounts, and that new checks are ordered if necessary. In some cases, a debit card will need to be deactivated and a period of days may follow before the new card arrives, so be sure to withdraw enough cash to cover expenses in the interim.

Additional documents to consider are those connected to titled assets, various credit card accounts and other open lines of credit. The last step involves name changes on minor accounts such as store reward cards, travel loyalty programs and various memberships around town. It helps to create a comprehensive list of all of these accounts prior to beginning the process, so that accounts can be added as they are remembered.

For many Florida spouses, changing their name after divorce is one of the most significant and meaningful steps they'll take as they embark upon their new life as a single person. With the right degree of motivation and organization, managing a name change is not as onerous a task as many people believe. For many, the time and effort is a worthy  investment as they move forward toward new horizons.

Source: reuters.com, "Your Money: Cost of a name change after divorce? Priceless", Beth Pinsker, March 26, 2018

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