The Legal Process of Changing Your Name After Divorce in Alaska

Older couple sitting far apart from eachother upset

The process by which you change your name after getting divorced in Alaska will depend on how you answer two questions. An Alaska family law attorney can help you navigate the name change process. Let’s take a look at the legal process of changing your name after divorce in Alaska.

Question #1 – Are You Changing Your Name Back to Your Prior Name?

You can change your name back to the name you used before this marriage if the divorce is still pending. All you have to do is request the name change. People usually ask the judge in the divorce petition to restore the party’s previous name at the end of the case. When the judge grants the divorce, the name change happens as one of the terms of the dissolution.

If you did not ask in the divorce petition for your previous name to get restored, you might be able to request the name change later in the case, by amending your petition or filing a motion requesting that the judge restore your previous name. Just be sure that the settlement agreement and proposed divorce decree include what your legal name will be after the divorce.

If you are changing your name to something other than the name you used before this marriage, you will need to file a separate case in court and request an Adult Name Change.

Question #2 – Is Your Divorce Already Complete?

Even if you want to change your name back to the name you used before this marriage, you must do so during the divorce if you want to avoid filing a separate name change case with the court. Once your divorce case is complete, the judge cannot enter a name change.

Some people intentionally wait until a year or two after the divorce until they change their name because they do not want the children to have to deal with too many changes in their lives at once. After the children have had time to adjust to the divorce and the two households, then one of the parents might file a separate lawsuit requesting a name change.

Another reason that a person might not request a name change is that they expected to marry someone else soon after the divorce. If that relationship ended in a break-up rather than in marriage, the individual might want to get their name changed at some point after the divorce.

Adult Name Changes After Divorce

Alaska law does not give people the right to change their names to anything they want. The judge in your separate name change lawsuit could grant or deny your request. You will need to provide this information to the court:

  • Your current legal name.
  • The first, middle, and last name that you want to have as your new legal name.
  • The reasons you want to have your name changed.

You will also have to assure the court that you are not wanting to change your name to defraud anyone or avoid judgments, debts, or obligations. Also, your Petition for Change of Name must state that the reasons you gave the court support of your request are consistent with the public interest. You do not have to try to handle your name change by yourself. An Alaska family law attorney can help you request a change of name after a divorce. Reach out to our office today for help with your case, we gladly offer a free consultation.

Posted in: Divorce