Many people change their name when they get married. Sometimes, couples hyphenate their names to use both names. What happens if the marriage doesn’t work out? Can you take your maiden name back? While it’s understandable that you want to kick your ex-spouse out of your life for good, changing your name may take a legal designation. Here are some things to consider.
If You Are Getting Divorced
In most states, you can request a name change as part of your legal divorce decree. The judge can make it part of the court order. Take this order with you when you change your name on your bank accounts, driver’s license, and other places.
What If the Divorce Is Finalized?
Check the laws in your state to see if you can ask the court for a modification to your divorce decree. Some states only require an additional form which then has to be signed by the judge. You’ll get a copy of the request if it is approved. You can then use that document to change your name wherever you need to.
Some states simply allow you to use your old name again. Take your original birth certificate or passport to the places where you want to change your name. It will depend on the jurisdiction where you currently live. Once you start using your maiden name again according to the laws there, you shouldn’t have problems if you move to a new jurisdiction.
What If You Want an Entirely New Name?
If you want to use a different name than your maiden name, you may have to file paperwork with the court to get approval. Again, it depends on the laws where you live. However, it is possible.
What About Changing the Names of Your Children?
Changing your children’s name may not be as easy as simply going back to your maiden name. The court will have to make a determination as to whether it’s in the child’s best interest to have a name change. Changing your child’s name won’t change the legal relationship between your child and the other parent, but it can make it easier for the child. You will need to seek a court order.
Get Professional Help to Change Your Name
Each state has laws on how to change your name. You should check the local laws for the process where you live. Your family lawyer will advise you on the laws in your state to change your name to make sure you get back on track legally.