Changing your name in New Jersey requires court approval following a process designed to ensure the name change isn’t being requested for unlawful or deceptive purposes. The exception to this is a name change due to marriage and/or divorce.
Adopting your spouse’s name after marriage or resuming your maiden name after divorce can be effected socially simply by using your new name. Officially, however, there are certain agencies, such as the Social Security Administration and the Motor Vehicle Commission, you must notify in order to change your name. Your certified marriage license serves as proof of your right to use your spouse’s name if you so choose. In relation to divorce, your desire to resume use of your maiden name should be stated in the divorce decree. This document can then be used when applying to the appropriate agencies for your name change.
Planning a wedding or negotiating a divorce are complex, emotional events, so it would be easy to overlook an agency or institution you should notify about your pending name change. This name change checklist can help.