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Focus: Name change in a Florida divorce

When a recent Orlando Sentinel article refers to the "myriad decisions that come with dissolution of marriage" in many instances and can overwhelm a person involved in the process, it isn't overstating.

Some divorces are not overly complex, of course, and don't require a considerable amount of time and effort to obtain, such as when a couple divorces early in marriage, with no children and little in the way of assets or debts. In a good many such cases, where child custody, property division, alimony and little else is at issue, a divorce can often be very quickly and smoothly effected.

The flip side of that coin, of course, is a dissolution that does involve many of those issues, and sometimes more. In such a case, where many factors are at play and there is truly much to think about, a divorcing party might forget about a thing or two.

Like a name change, for example.

This is usually more of a consideration for a woman who might be contemplating a change back to her maiden name. Although the issue is seldom on the front burner in a divorce, some counselors say that those who are thinking about it should give the matter some impassioned and thoughtful consideration. They also say that, for those who seek a name change, they sometimes get so caught up in other aspects of their divorce that they just let it slide.

That omission, if sought to be rectified following dissolution, will cost you $400. Conversely, Florida law allows for a free name change during the time a divorce case is still open. A woman can petition the court following a divorce to reopen her case, which will cost $50.

In any event, a Florida divorce attorney can discuss the matter and provide relevant information concerning a name change with any client who seeks information on the subject.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Women can regain maiden name free in divorce - or pay $400 if they wait," Amy Pavuk, Fe. 2, 2013

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