You can apply for a different name by going through the standard name change process
You just need to submit these documents to institutions you have transactions with and have your records changed. A name is not just a name. It is a sign of change, independence and breaking free. To a lot of people a name means a new chapter in their lives.
The divorce decree is an important supporting document along with your birth certificate if you want to revert to your maiden name or previous surname. You just need to submit these documents to institutions you have transactions with and have your records changed. How long the process takes would then vary for every institution as they would always make you fill out their standard forms for the application of change of name.
If the divorce decree is not yet final, for example the proceedings are still pending or the couple is still under 12 months of separation before they can file for a divorce, it is sufficient to present the marriage certificate and birth certificate along with an explanation of your intention to revert to your maiden name/previous surname. However, if you have changed your name after the divorce application, you must inform the court in writing of such action.
The important institutions that need to be informed are those that issue passports, driver’s license, bank accounts, credit cards, employment IDs and utility companies. These processes apply to both males and females because there are some instances when the husband adopts the surname of the wife.
Change of name actually is not limited to reverting to the maiden name. You can apply for a different name altogether by going through the standard name change process. All you need to do is go to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages and comply with the process. This entails filling out an application form to register the change of name and another form to obtain a certificate of change of name. There are, of course, corresponding fees that need to be paid. The change of name certificate is very important for without it, institutions will not change your name in your identification documents.
However, by the principle of name by association, even without the change of name certificate a person can start to use the new name in the community. It is just that the certificate is needed by government institutions and organizations as proof of the change of name.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.