I have created a one page Name Change Order form that I use when a female client wants to change her name as part of the divorce decree. A Name Change is usually mentioned toward the end of a final decree by inserting the following language in the final decree:
"Name Change for Petitioner
In accordance with her wishes, IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED that Jane Anne Smith's name is changed to Jane Anne Doe."
The problem with having this name change only being mentioned in the body of the final decree is that the woman will then have to submit a certified copy of her entire final decree to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have her name changed on her driver's license, submit a certified copy of her entire final decree to the Social Security Administration to have her name changed on her social security records, etc. The District Clerk charges $1 a page for certified copies of court records in Williamson County at the present time. That gets expensive if these agencies lose your final decree or do not return the certified copy of the final decree to you when you need to get your name changed.
It is much cheaper to just have to pay $1 for a certified copy of a one page Name Change Order to submit to each agency that needs to be notified that you have changed your name. Additionally, all of the other personal information that is typically contained in the final decree is not provided to each of these agencies so that helps with some privacy concerns.
To be clear, the name change information is always stated within the Final Decree of Divorce. In addition, I draft the one page Name Change Order for the convenience of my clients whose names are being changed as part of the Final Decree.
I draft the one page Name Change Order and get the judge to sign it at the same time that the judge signs the Final Decree. Both documents are then filed with the district clerk and they are both a permanent part of the file for your case. Any time you need a certified copy of either document, you can contact the district clerk and pay the copying charges and obtain a new copy.
For a sample of the Name Change Order that I draft, click on the link below.