If you are a married woman who took her husband’s surname at the time of your wedding, you may wish to get your maiden surname back when you divorce. In most cases, you can do this easily by including a request for restoration of your married name in your divorce petition.
At your divorce hearing with a divorce attorney, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, make sure to verbally request your name change as part of your testimony before the judge. This ensures that he or she doesn’t inadvertently overlook your petition’s written request.
When the judge issues your final divorce decree, check it carefully to make sure it includes the restoration of your maiden name. If it does, get a certified copy of it from the court clerk that you can use as proof, if necessary, when you change your name on the following documents:
- Social Security card
- Driver’s license
- Insurance policies
- Medical records
- Bank accounts
- Credit card accounts
- Employment records
Divorce Decree Amendment
If your divorce decree fails to include authorization for you to take back your maiden name, you likely will need to file a motion for amendment in the same court that granted your divorce. You can do this even if you neglected to ask for restoration of your maiden name in your petition or as part of your divorce hearing testimony.
Legal Name Change
Many women nowadays prefer to use their maiden names for business and professional purposes. If this is your preference, it’s a valid reason to legally change your married surname to your maiden surname. This is your third option, and you can get a legal name change whether or not you’re married and whether or not you’ve obtained a legal separation or divorce.
You will need to file a petition for change of name in the court of the county in which you live. Be sure your petition includes the reasons why you want your name changed. You likely will need to attend a hearing before a judge to verbally verify your petition’s request. As long as you have one or more valid reasons to change your name, you should have few problems getting your maiden name back.
Whichever method you use to restore your maiden name, obtaining the advice, counsel and representation of an experienced local family law attorney is a very good idea. He or she will know the name change laws in your jurisdiction and can guide you through the process.