Friday, February 20, 2009

Changing My Last Name on Accounts After My Divorce

I'm going to set another goal for 2009 - to change all my legal documents, credit cards and other various accounts back to my maiden name. When I was married I took on my husband's last name. Quite a few of my accounts are in that name. One of my goals is to start going through everything I have and making sure the proper last name is on it.

This isn't a move to be vindictive nor am I particularly worried about security issues with my ex, it is simply a matter of getting my financial house in order. When I was first divorced I didn't mind what name I was called or how I was listed on things. It still doesn't bother me, but it is a constant reminder to get off my duff and make sure everything is nice and legal. Should something happen to me or there be an emergency, I don't want people having to deal with the fact that I have two names.

I have a very simple plan, as each statement, bill or other notification from an account comes in, I am going to send them a letter informing them of the name change. Click "Read More" to see my sample letter:

Feb 20, 2009

Regarding Account Number: XXXXX

To Whom it May Concern:

Good afternoon. On June 5th, 2008 I was divorced. I have reinstated my maiden name. Please change the name on this account from: Dawn XXXXX to Dawn XXXX.

Enclosed is a copy of the divorce paperwork, showing the changing of the name on page 4.

Please make the required change on the account. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Thank you,


It's simple, to the point and seems to work. I have already sent this in with a copy of my mortgage paperwork and a copy of the divorce papers and they sent me a letter that it is taken care of. I noticed on my last statement that correction had been made.

I think everyone handles divorce differently. Some people might rush out and change their name back the minute the paperwork comes through. For me, I had too much going on at first to deal with it. But, I think I am hitting that place where I feel more like myself again, I feel like a newer, stronger, more confident, slightly worn and damaged but all the better for it version of myself. It's time to match the model name with the new make.

Fabulous photo and artwork of Inigo Montoya by: Rakka


Fit Wallet said...

I think I would feel disorganized or scattered seeing different names on different accounts/paperwork (but have never changed my name so I don't really know). That seems like a big step to me, even if it's fairly simple to accomplish.

Dawn said...

It isn't as confusing as it sounds - no matter what someone calls me, I'm still me. But I think you are right - I will feel a lot more organized when it is done.

Miss M said...

My mom is opting to keep her married name, she doesn't like her maiden name! Good luck with the paperwork, hopefully there won't be any hassles.

Dawn said...

Thanks so much Miss M! I hope it all goes smoothly too.

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

I don't think I'll change my last name when I get married, for this reason right here. It's just such a hassle! But, then it gets confusing when kids get involved because which name do you give them? Traditionally I know it's supposed to be the father's, but mine is simple and easy. It will be my luck that I marry a man with the most difficult and obtuse last name on the planet!

At any rate, good luck with the paperwork switch. I agree that having it all changed to one name will make you feel more organized. And your letter is great. As you said, simple and to the point.

Dawn said...

Kristy - You know, people were really surprised that I changed my name. I'm kind of one of those independent people who normally wouldn't, I guess. My last name is kind of quirky, not hard, just odd. I always said I would change it if I ever got married, so I did. It was okay, I might do it again, but I am also really glad to be back to the old me.

Alex said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I am researching this topic and this is very helpful and informative.

Dawn said...

Alex - I am so glad I could help! Good luck! Most of my accounts are changed over now and this letter was all it took.