Your name is more than an identifier, it expresses identity, and in marriage, through the acceptance of your spouse’s last name, it represents unity and commitment. Unfortunately, when a marriage ends, a changed name can also stand as a reminder of a failed relationship. Therefore, it is understandable when women want to revert to their maiden names. While it may sound complicated, the process is straightforward, and you can complete it in one of three ways.
1. Divorce Petition or Response
The first option is to request the name change in your petition or response before finalizing the divorce. If you are the petitioner, then you express your desire to return to your previous name. If your spouse petitioned, then in your response or counterclaim, you can ask that the final decree includes a clause about the name change.
2. Divorce Decree Amendment
If you did not ask for the name change before the completion of the divorce, then you can ask for a divorce decree amendment. You will need to file a post-judgment motion or an ex parte application. While not always necessary, some jurisdictions will require a hearing where you will express your desire to return to your maiden name under oath.
3. Name Change Petition
The last option for getting your maiden name back is to file a name change petition. Again, this is not a complicated process. Most courthouses will have ready-made packets containing all the paperwork and forms. You only need to fill out these forms and complete any necessary background checks before filing with the clerk’s office. Again, a hearing is possibly mandatory in some jurisdictions to ensure your reasons for the change.
Once you legally restore your name, you will need to change your name with the social security office and the DMV. To change your name in these locations, you will need a copy of the judge’s order. After you complete these steps, you can use your new/old name to change bank accounts, subscription services and any other services that require your name.
Divorce is difficult and possibly requires a long process. Many people do not want to keep their married name when it is all over. For those interested in reverting to your maiden name, try any of the three methods above. If you are not sure which method is best to use, then contact a divorce attorney in Collin County, TX who can help you make and defend the decision. Divorce does not define you, and neither does a married name.
Thanks to Scroggins Law Group, PLLC for their insight into family law and changing your name back after divorce.