For Texas spouses who are ending a marriage, it can feel as though the list of “to do” items will never end. For many, changing their name is one more item to add to that divorce checklist. While a name change does require a significant amount of paperwork and errands around town, these are tasks that many Texas residents are happy to perform. With the right degree of organization, managing a name change can be a relatively simple and straightforward process.
The first place to begin is with government-issued identification, as these documents will be necessary to complete secondary name changes. Check the DMV website to ensure that the proper documentation is in hand before visiting the office for a freshly minted drivers license or ID. The Social Security office may be next on your list of places to visit to have your name changed.
Changing your name on bank accounts is also important. Many banks require an in person visit to complete a name change. While there, be sure to check that the change transfers across all accounts, even those that are used infrequently. If ordering a new debit card, be aware that there is often a delay of several days before the new card arrives. Be sure to have enough cash on hand to cover living expenses during that period of time.
The next step usually involves changing the name on any open lines of credit. This includes auto loans, credit cards and any other accounts that are open and active. Be sure to remember insurance accounts, as well. This is also a good time to ensure that the beneficiaries listed on each account are up-to-date.
Finally, make a list of all nonessential accounts and begin the process of a name change for each. These include store reward cards, loyalty travel programs, online shopping accounts and the like. It may be helpful to create a working list of these accounts early in the divorce process, so that the list can be augmented as minor accounts come to mind.
Changing a name after a Texas divorce is a statement of independence for many spouses. While the process can certainly involve a considerable amount of time and effort, many people feel that those are worthy investments. A new name marks a new phase of life, one in which one’s goals and endeavors are of one’s own making.
Source: reuters.com, “Your Money: Cost of a name change after divorce? Priceless“, Beth Pinsker, March 26, 2018