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Name Changes in South Carolina

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Dec 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

Resuming your maiden name (or a former married name) is quite common after parties separate, and it happens in many divorce cases here in South Carolina. The legal requirements for a name change in this state are set forth in South Carolina Code Section 15-49-10.  If you change your name as part of a divorce, it is not overly complicated, as you merely need to request it in your pleadings filed with the Court and answer a few additional questions at the final hearing.

However, if you want to change your name at any time other than as part of a divorce, there are several additional requirements that must be satisfied pursuant to the statute. For instance, you will be required to have a background check (including fingerprints) and obtain verification that you are not listed on any child abuse registries or sex offender registries.   You must file all of the required paperwork with the Court along with a petition, then schedule and appear at a hearing to make it official.  You can learn more about name changes in South Carolina in this packet from the Spartanburg County Clerk of Court.

Changing your last name might be beneficial in helping you move on to the next chapter of your life, and it might also help to remove a constant reminder of your ex-husband.  However, it is also understandable if you want to keep his last name.  You may not want to deal with the necessary changes on accounts listed under your married name, or you may want to keep the same last name as your children. There's no right or wrong decision regarding name change following a divorce, and women in South Carolina should feel free to do as they like.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

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