A Name Change Post-Decree?

By Brenda L. Storey, Esq.

Outside the divorce arena, a name change requires background checks, jumping through hoops and red tape.  The country music group Pistol Annies has a catchy song about changing a party’s name as a result of a divorce.  They are really right on, as it does take a judge to get a divorce, and it does take a judge to get a name changed back as a result of that divorce. Here are the lyrics:

It takes a judge to get married, takes a judge to get divorced
Well the last couple years, spent a lotta time in court
Got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
Well I wanted somethin’ new, then I wanted what I had
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)

Well I’ve got me an ex that I adored
But he got along good with a couple road whores
Got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
I don’t wanna be a Missus on paper no more
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)

(Here we go)

I don’t let a man get the best of me
Spent an afternoon at the DMV
Got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
Now who I was ain’t who I be
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)

(That’s right)

Well, how to win when you play the fool
That’s somethin’ they don’t teach in school
I played to win, lookin’ back is funny
I broke his heart and I took his money
Got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)
Well I don’t wanna be a Missus on paper no more
I got my name changed back (yeah yeah)

I got my name changed back
I got my name changed back
I got my name changed back
I got my name changed back
I got my name changed back
I got my name changed back

Yeah, yeah!

While a name change can be sought during the divorce or legal separation proceeding, it is never too late.   Colorado has a statute that makes a name change post-decree very simple.  At any time at all after the entry of a decree of divorce or legal separation, a party can seek restoration of a prior full name.  All that is needed are a verified motion and affidavit, filed in the same case as the divorce or legal separation.  The standard is very easy:   That the restoration of a prior full name is not detrimental to any person.  An added bonus is that the request is ex parte, meaning the other party does not to have notice and does not get a say in the request.

So, if you want to get your name changed back, you can get your name changed back rather easily, yeah, yeah.