Changing Your Name in Alabama

When you get divorced, you can choose to change your name as part of the divorce decree. To my knowledge, there’s no requirement that the name you choose be one you were using before (although most people who want to change their name in divorce choose one they were using before the marriage). What happens, though, if you do not change your name in the divorce and later want to change it? The process of changing your legal name in Alabama is not difficult. Here’s how to do it.

If you’re in Jefferson County, you can download the form and instructions. They hide it well, but you can get to it this way. First, go to JeffcoInTouch.com. Click on “Departments and Agencies,” then page down and click on “Probate Court,” then page down to the bottom under “More Information” where it says “Change of Name” and click on the button to its right that says “More Information.” Read the General Information, and then read the section entitled “Would you like to view or print the required forms?” Then you can click on the button to the right to open the PDF file with the forms and instructions.

The fee is $11.00, and you’ll need to take it in cash. No checks or credit cards. The process is usually complete within 2-3 weeks.

If you’re in a county other than Jefferson, you may still be able to find the forms on the Internet; I’m just less familiar with the others. And of course, you can always go to the probate court for your county in person and pick them up.

I think this goes without saying, but it never hurts to clarify. The process I’m describing here will change your legal name. You’ll still need to change it separately on Social Security, DMV, etc.

9 comments

  1. Sherry says:

    I contacted the Probate court concerning a name change. They told me I HAD to contact an attorney. If all I have to do is fill out a form and file with court system, why do I need an atorney? I want to go back to my maiden name which my lawyer neglected to ask me at my divorce proceedings.

  2. Lee Borden says:

    Beats me. Other people are changing their name without paying a lawyer. I suppose it’s possible (unlikely, but possible) that your county has a more complicated procedure.

  3. Am1-aol says:

    You must live in Chilton County, they are crooked as all get out and value the almighty dollar for the attorneys. they require an attorney for everything, even to scratch your nose.

  4. Curious Sue says:

    I would like an opinion. My husband’s ex got remarried to the man she had an affair with during the marriage but she is still using my husband’s last name. I found an Alabama statute (Title 30 Section 30-2-11) which says under the court’s discretion she “can be enjoined not to use an ex-husband’s given name.” My husband would very much like to have her not use his last name. Can you please provide the odds of succeeding in getting the court to order her not to use his last name?

  5. RH says:

    I am being told I could not change my name as part of my divorce or in divorce court, but this only means I can’t use that court to do it, right? I can change my name through probate court still, correct? Thanks, by the way, for this post. I would have never found those forms otherwise.

  6. Lee Borden says:

    Who is telling you that? I would ask them to tell you how they know this. And to my knowledge, you can file to change your own name at any time.

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