Divorce 101

Navigating the Name Change Process

Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Family Law Now After Hours

Hosted this coming week by Russell Alexander, Kaitlyn Swindells & Golan Yaron.

Want to learn how to navigate the name change process?


We will be live at 5PM on June 18th on Zoom and our YouTube Channel, to explain the tips, tricks and considerations changing your name post-separation. This series is one of our many commitments to providing our community with valuable resources to support them in navigating family law matters.

Navigating the Name Change Process

1. Deciding to Change Your Name

Whether due to divorce or personal preference, changing your name after separation is a significant decision. Consider the reasons for the change and how it will impact your identity and personal documents.

2. Legal Name Change Process

Research the legal name change process in your jurisdiction. Requirements and procedures may vary depending on where you live, so it’s essential to understand the steps involved.  

3. Gathering Documentation

Collect the necessary documentation to support your name change application. This may include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order authorizing the name change.

4. Completing Name Change Forms

Fill out the required name change forms accurately and completely. Be prepared to provide personal information, including your current and desired name, address, and reason for the name change.

5. Filing the Petition

Submit your name change petition to the appropriate court or government agency along with any required fees. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your petition is processed promptly.

6. Publication Requirements

In some jurisdictions, you may be required to publish a notice of your name change in a local newspaper. This is typically done to inform the public and allow for any objections to the name change.

7. Updating Personal Documents

Once your name change petition is approved, update your personal documents to reflect your new name. This may include your driver’s license, passport, social security card, bank accounts, and other legal documents.

8. Notifying Relevant Parties

Notify relevant parties of your name change, including employers, banks, insurance companies, and government agencies. Provide them with a copy of your name change certificate or court order as proof of your new name.

9. Updating Online Profiles

If you have online profiles or accounts, such as social media or email accounts, update your name and contact information accordingly. This helps ensure consistency and avoids confusion.

10. Embracing Your New Identity

Changing your name is a significant step in your personal journey. Embrace your new identity and celebrate this opportunity for growth and self-expression.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.