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Heather Jones

If you’ve come across this article online, you’re probably interested in getting a name change in Wisconsin after your divorce. There are three possible ways to change your name if you’re getting a divorce:  


1-Ask in your petition for divorce  

2-Ask in your response to the other spouse’s petition for divorce OR  

3-File for a name change after the divorce is complete  


This article will focus on a name change after divorce in Wisconsin. Perhaps you did not have time to think about changing your name while dealing with all the details and stress of the divorce. There may be a safety issue to consider, or maybe your feelings have just changed. No matter your reason, this article will cover the basics of getting a name change after divorce in Wisconsin.  

Name Change After Divorce in Wisconsin


Now that you are divorced, you have decided to change your name. You can fill out and file the appropriate paperwork to have your name changed back to your maiden name if you like. The process is relatively simple if you understand the forms, fees, and deadlines.  


If you have a child with the last name of a former husband, living or deceased, you can also elect to change your name back to that last name. For example, if you were married before and your last name was Smith, and you have a child from that marriage with the last name of Smith, you could legally ask that your last name be changed back to Smith.  


Can I Change My Name To Something Else After My Divorce?


Sometimes people just want to make a change. Some people wish to change their name to something unrelated to the name they had before. Another consideration is that there might be a lot of bad memories associated with their previous name or even possible danger in the form of stalking and harassment associated with their previous name. Again, the process is fairly simple. You will have to fill out and file an application for a name change.  


How Do I Change My Name?


The first step is to be absolutely sure you want to do it. While the name change process is simple, you will have to do a lot of extra work because of it. You should also talk to your Wisconsin family law attorney or divorce attorney prior to making the change. An experienced Wisconsin attorney will be able to provide you with information and advice about the process and consequences of a name change. It would be wise to consider simply hiring an attorney to do the work, guaranteeing a successful name change the first time you try. A lot of attorneys will also perform this work for what is known as a flat fee, meaning they do not bill you hourly for it; they just do it for a one-time payment.  


If you elect to try the name change on your own, you have to go to the state court website and find the appropriate forms. You must fill out the forms properly and file them with the court in the county where you reside. You will also have to pay whatever fee that county requires for a name change. You will have to file out and file a proposed order and notice of hearing on your name change. The notice of hearing must be published once a week for three weeks in a local newspaper, so be careful of your timing and pay attention to deadlines. If the paperwork is in order, the publication is complete, and the fees are paid, the court will enter an order to change your name at the hearing. It will be up to you to properly file the signed order.  


If your name change is brought about by concerns for your privacy and your safety, Wisconsin does offer a confidential name change process.  

If you are the holder of a professional license, you may need to ask and be given permission from the governing body of your profession prior to requesting a name change. You will also need to ensure that your professional license is properly and timely updated to reflect the new name you will be going by.  


Once you have the order changing your name, you will need to update all of your relevant documents. For instance, your driver’s license will have to be changed; you may need to contact the Social Security Administration and have your information updated; you will need to update your bank accounts, credit cards, and any loans you have. The list is long, but failure to perform any of the necessary updates could land you in a great deal of legal and financial trouble, so plan ahead to have a lot of updating to do if you elect to change your name.  


Can I Keep My Ex’s Name After The Divorce?


Yes, you can keep your married name after you divorce that person. A lot of people find it useful, especially if there are children with the same last name. It is also less of a hassle since you do not have to update any of your current identification documents like your driver’s license. If you want to keep your married name after divorce in Wisconsin, you can certainly do so.  

Can I Change My Child’s Name?


You can ask the court to change your child’s last name. Sometimes if the other parent is completely out of the picture or parental rights have been terminated, you will ask for a name change. The forms are similar to the one for the name change of an adult. The name change of a minor is a serious proceeding, and it would be wise to discuss it with a Wisconsin family law attorney prior to filing so that you understand the ramifications and necessary steps.  


A name change can be a great first step towards starting your new single life, and it can also be a bit of a pain with all of the administrative tasks that come along with the name change. It can also be a big relief if the name change is connected to a situation where you are being stalked or harassed. Regardless of your reasons for wanting a name change, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney prior to starting the process. If you are considering a name change or are looking for more advice, feel free to contact one of our Kenosha location attorneys today at (626) 286-1989 or by email at Find our office at 7520 39th Ave Kenosha WI 53142.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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