Name Change Pursuant to a Divorce in Virginia

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Changing your name pursuant to marriage is easy – you bring your marriage license to the Social Security Office and obtain a Social Security Card with your new name. Changing your name pursuant to a divorce, however, is slightly more complicated.

In Virginia, an adult can change their name at any time, for good cause, by filing a Petition for Change of Name in the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which they reside.[1] For an individual desiring to resume their maiden name upon divorce, there are special circumstances.

A person wishing to resume their maiden name post-divorce may make a motion for such in their pleadings.[2] Additionally, the court will enter a separate Order for Name Change in conjunction with a Final Decree of Divorce.

It is important to remember that in order to change your name to one that was not your maiden name (i.e. you want to change your middle name in addition to resuming your maiden surname), then you will need to file a Petition for Change of Name separate from your divorce. This will require a separate filing fee and case number.

Additionally, once your name is changed, it is vital that you correct your legal name with federal and state government entities, as well as third parties with whom you may have a contractual obligation. For instance, if you have a personal loan or bank account with a bank, you will need to change your name with them.

In order to avoid unnecessary expenses or delays in changing your name, it is important to seek guidance from a competent attorney. Further, navigating through divorce can be overwhelming and confusing. The experienced attorneys at Hicks Crandall Juhl are ready and willing to help answer any questions you may have. To schedule a consultation, please contact us here.


[1] Virginia Code § 8.01-217.

[2] Virginia Code § 20-121.4.

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