Changing Your Name After Divorce

changeyournameQuestionWhen I was divorced, I didn’t change my name, but now I want to resume my former name and drop my ex-husband’s name. Is it too late to do this without an expensive attorney?


Divorce is very unsettling, to say the least. It is difficult to think about changing one’s name when there are so many other more pressing issues, and many women decide to continue using their married names, at least for the time being, after their divorce.

Resuming your former name is a significant step. It marks a return to a former SELF, and for many women, this represents a positive step towards recovery and acceptance of the divorce.

If you were not ready to make a name change at the time of divorce, and now you are, it is neither too late nor too difficult or expensive to do so now. Here is the procedure.

(Note: the procedure outlined below is targeted at California residents. The general outline should be applicable to your state.)

Filling Out the Change of Name Form

  1. Download the name change form online (search “Name Change in <your state>”), or go to the County Clerk’s Office and ask for the form. You’ll need to know the case number designated when your petition for dissolution was made, and the date when the judgment of dissolution was filed with the Court. You can find both of these numbers on the papers you received when the divorce was final. (The case number and date are also public record and can be found with the clerk’s help if necessary).
  2. In California, the form to use is FL-395, Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment and Order.
  3. In the section at the top of the name change form that says “Attorney or Party Without Attorney,” give your current name and address.
  4. In the section on the form called “Marriage of,” make sure you are legally accurate about who was Petitioner and who was Respondent. If you’re not sure, check how this section reads on your dissolution.
  5. In the section on the form called “Application,” be accurate about what you want your  NEW name to be. It seems silly if you are switching back to your maiden name, but if it’s been a long time since you’ve used your maiden name, it can be easy to misspell it. Print neatly.
  6. Where the form says “Signature of applicant,” you sign with your present or married name.
  7. On Item #3, again print the new name you are requesting.
  8. Submit it to the County Clerk’s office with the small specified filing fee.  Your court’s self-help centerfamily law facilitator, or small claims legal advisor can provide you more help if you need a fee waiver.

Changing Your Name

Depending upon how busy they are that day, the County Clerk’s office may process the form for you on the spot, giving you a copy as your evidence of name change. If not, be prepared to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can mail your copy to you when it is processed.

When you have your copy of the form in hand, you can begin changing your name with other entities. The best place to start is with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Take your approved form with you and get a new driver’s license. When your new license is sent to you, use that license as evidence of your new name to gradually make the changes with banks, credit card companies, Social Security, employers, etc.

During the period when the change is not complete, you can use both signatures: your new name followed by “AKA (your old name)” AKA stands for “Also Known As”.

Telling Your Children and Family

When telling your children you are changing your name, use a simple explanation that is appropriate to their age and understanding. Just tell them the facts and be willing to answer their questions. This can be a difficult change for your children, and you don’t want them to lose their sense of their own past and family heritage.
Your children will probably adapt to your new name faster than family and friends. People who know you by your married name may take a while to accept the change. And many people and institutions will assume that your name change indicates a new marriage for you. Consider in advance how you will handle their comments and inquiries.

A name change should not be an impulsive decision, nor is it alone the measure of your recovery from divorce. Before you change your name, make sure you have thought your decision through and it is best for you.

Want more useful advice on life after a divorce? Check out our free divorce article archive.

287 thoughts on “Changing Your Name After Divorce”

  1. I got a dissolution of marriage, and in the forms we had missed out one of the 2 check boxes where I had asked to restore my maiden name, hence my name was not restored. The dissolution of marriage has already been approved so I had to file an ex parte application for restoration of former name after entry of judgment. I managed to make an in-person appointment to hand in the forms and paid the fee for it. The employee told me it should roughly take about 2 weeks, however it has been 1.5 months now and still no update on the restoration of my former last name. Would you happen to know what is the longest it will take for this? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? I’m just really anxious to have my ex’s name removed.

    1. If they have lost the paperwork, then it will take forever, unless you pursue this with them. If you are anxious to get your name changed, then you might want to contact the department where you filed to find out what’s taking so long. I don’t have any way of knowing that, only they do.

  2. Hi-
    I got married in CA in 2011. On the marriage license, I stated that I wanted to change my name to add his name. However, I never changed my name with the SSA, the IRS, the DMV or on my passport. The ONLY place I changed my name was at the bank on my accounts. I’ve since had the bank change my name back to my maiden name on all my bank accounts.

    I got divorced in 2014- he filed the paperwork and I was not offered the option to revert to my maiden name at that point (regret not insisting on this). Do I need to file paperwork to revert back to my maiden name or is it moot since I never contacted the gov’t to finalize the married name change in the first place?

    Thank You!

    1. I understand your question and confusion, but let’s cut through the details and look at where you are and where you want to be. If your name on file with the SSA, IRS, DMV, passport and bank accounts is your maiden name, and that’s the name you want to use in the future, then there’s nothing to be fixed or changed. You were given the right to change your name when you married, you never did, and now it turns out you were smart about that because you already have the name you want to use in the future.

      Here’s an analogy: if you intended to go to the country on your vacation, but never got around to packing or getting in the car and driving there, then you don’t need to buy a map to see how to get home from there. You are already home.

  3. Hi, I did request a change name during my divorce, however i did had a chance to actually change my documents because of COVID (all offices were close). Now I’m getting married again, and I don’t want put my (EX) husband’s name on my new married certificate. Can I use my divorce decree as proof of name + a foreign passport (single name on it)? All my other documents has my married name on it. (California)

    Appreciate your help.

    1. Ask the office where they issue marriage certificates if a foreign passport will be sufficient proof of identity. If it won’t be, explain the situation to them and see if they can accept your divorce decree giving you permission to change your name as proof. Permission to change your name isn’t the same as actually changing your name, so they may not accept that, but maybe they have some ideas.

  4. Hi, I got divorced last year and have a stamped (by the court, saying ‘filed’) copy of FL180 sent from my lawyer. The. decree has the box checked that allows me to go back to using my maiden name. I am getting mixed messages on what I need to do next and was hoping to get some advice (I live and was divorced in Los Angeles County, CA). Since FL180 is the “divorce decree” and does allow me to go back to my maiden name, do I still need to file form FL395 to request the name change, or is that just superfluous paperwork? Also, I have read during my google searches that I will need a “certified copy” of the court forms; I have the emailed, stamped copy of FL180 mentioned above, have not filled out FL395 yet (and hope I don’t have to), but have also read that I may need up to 2 certified copies of FL190, which I don’t have.
    Can someone let me know exactly what I need in hand to start changing my name with social security, DMV, IRS, etc.?
    Thanks so much, this is a great resource!

    1. You already have the court form that says you can change your name, so you can skip the first step in the article and go directly to this step: When you have your copy of the form in hand, you can begin changing your name with other entities. The best place to start is with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Take your approved form with you and get a new driver’s license. When your new license is sent to you, use that license as evidence of your new name to gradually make the changes with banks, credit card companies, Social Security, employers, etc.

  5. Hi, my divorce decree is dated 1998 from Pennsylvania and it does not mention anything about me being allowed to resume my surname. I now live in NJ and want to go back to my maiden name. Several questions…1) Do I have to pay to change my married last name back to my maiden name? 2) in which state do I file my paperwork? 3) On average, how long does the process take during Covid-19 period? Thank you.

    1. If you live in NJ, you will need to go by the rules of that state regarding changing your name. You can contact your county clerk’s office to get the forms and ask the questions you pose, or search for “change my name in NJ” and use the form and instructions you find there.

  6. Hi, I got divorced in 2006 but never changed my name back to my maiden name even after the judge give me permission to do so. It just too much paperwork involved. I now have been in a relationship for 12 years and have two kids from this relationship and they have their dad’s last name and now every time I have to renew their passports they need a proof of my maiden name. So my question is can I change my name by including my maiden name too and keep both?

  7. I am getting divorced and also do not have a relationship with my parents. Instead of reverting to my maiden name I would like to take my only sister’s last name. Is this possible during the divorce proceedings or do I need to do a separate name change after the fact?

  8. I was divorced in 2019 and asked to return to my maiden name. I had my name changed back to my maiden name on my social security card, but no other documents or my drivers license. I no longer want to go by my maiden name and wish to return to my married name, for reasons of reconciliation. Is there a way to have that changed with the social security office or do I need to request a formal name change even though that’s the only documents with my maiden name?

    1. There are a number of things you must do. You can Google “how to change my name on my social security card” to find out what they are, and what form to fill out. Since you have not actually changed your name, it should be a fairly simple matter to change the name on your social security card to agree with your other documents. Tell them you applied to change it on your card in error last year.

  9. My fiancé and I are eloping in Vegas. My fiancé was divorced in 2003, she kept her ex husband’s name. She now wishes to change her name to my name. Will she need to go through a process, or will simply requesting a name change of our marriage license suffice?

    1. Each state has different rules, but in most she can change her name to yours upon marriage. She should start by changing it on her drivers license (they will probably want proof of the marriage) and then on bank accounts, credit cards, etc.

  10. I was divorced in Georgia 15 years ago. I moved to California 10 years ago. I would like my name changed back to my maiden name. During the divorce, I did not go to the hearing so I did not have a chance to have my name restored at that time. Can I change my name now in California and is there a lot of paperwork involved?

  11. Divorce papers were filed and finalized with a default judgment against my ex spouse due to her not responding when served, her married name stayed the same as mine since she defaulted and never changed it. She is now going to remarry for a 3rd time but is using her previous (1st husband’s) married name on her marriage license application. Is this illegal to do? does she have to file name change papers with the courts before she can marry again since she defaulted on her 2nd divorce.?

    1. If she is regularly using a last name, and she puts it on her application, it is probably not “illegal” to do so, unless she has an intent to defraud. If you and she are divorced, and she has not married anyone else, then she is single and free to get married again. Once she is married, she can change her name to her husband’s if she wants to without filing name change papers.

  12. I’m in Riverside County California, where my divorce occurred 12 years ago. Do I have to put an ad in a local newspaper showing intent to obtaining my maiden name back in such name change?

    1. If you were granted the right to change your name in the divorce, then that isn’t necessary. If were weren’t, download the forms to change your name and follow the instructions, which may require you to advertise your intent to change your name.

  13. Hello,
    So I got married,and changed my name on my SSC to his last name-(I still have the SSC with my maiden name on it also) but never changed my name on my driver’s license- we have since gotten divorced, and In the decree states that I am allowed to return to my maiden name if I choose. Would it be easier to keep his name since it’s legally my current name through the SS office and just change my DL to match, or would it be easier to keep my current DL with my maiden name and go to the SS office to change my SSC back to my prior name? Or can I skip going to the SS office since I saved my orginal SSC? Also, I’m currently pregnant but will not be putting the father on the birth certificate, so if I were to keep my ex husbands last name, could I give the baby my maiden name as the last name on the birth certificate regardless of my last name being different or would I need to give the baby my ex husbands last name as well? I reside in the state of Idaho. Thank you for your time!

    1. Which name do you want to use? That’s the name you should change to legally. I don’t know what “SSC” means, but I’m guessing it’s Social Security Card. If so, using a card that doesn’t match what the Social Security Administration’s records say will cause you problems down the road, so don’t do that. As for the baby’s last name, I don’t know what the Idaho law says, but likely you can use your last name or the father’s last name.

  14. I’m in the process of getting a divorce. Thanks to poor health I can no longer work, and he won’t help. I get 25 dollars from a friend for low rent income. I do not want to keep his name. But I do not want my Parent’s name, as they were abusive too.
    Is there a way to get my own last name without paying for it? Thanks.

  15. I came to the US in 2007 and got married to an American citizen and took his last name. In 2012 we divorced and at the divorce hearing I was asked by the judge if I want to keep my married name or revert to my maiden name; At the time I said I will go back to the maiden name. The divorce decree states that my maiden name is restored to me. In time, for different reasons I chose to keep my married name. The problem now, is that I want to register my marriage and divorce in my home country so I can apply for an ID with my name I have in the US, which is my married name. But by my decree saying that the maiden name was restored to me, they now want o see the divorce decree that says that I can keep my married name? I have no idea where to start. I live in Georgia and at the courthouse they told me that they can not offer me any legal advice??? Not even what to look for or what kind of lawyer could help me. One clerk said that maybe I have to do a name change but there is no change is I have always had my married name since moving to US. Please help me!

    1. I have been told by family law attorneys that the court restoring your name gives you the right to change it back to your former name, but you have no duty to do so. That is in California, so check with a family law attorney in Georgia to see what your state law says.

  16. My ex-wife and I just got our final papers. She wanted to keep her married name. The judge put in the decree that she is to go back to her maiden name. She doesn’t want to. Does she have to change it or is it optional? Thank you in advance

  17. I’ve been divorced about 10 years and now want to change my last name, but I was adopted and want to use my birth name and not my adopted legal maiden name. Do I have to go through the whole name change procedure or can I use my divorce papers for that?

  18. Hi I have my divorce decree allowing me to change my name back to my maiden name however I still have my ss card with my maiden name on it so do I still need to request a new one or can I just use my original one with maiden name and just change my drivers license and banking information?

    1. You should change your social security card to match your legal name, whichever name you choose to use. That is the name that you will use for employment and on your tax return, and it should agree with your number at Social Security. Take this advice, and save yourself lots of problems down the road when you are trying to straighten out your social security record or collect benefits.

  19. If I get divorce can I request a name change and my last name ? I have a long name and a long last name. Not only my last name but my first name

  20. Pingback: Changing Your Name After Divorce | Sterling Law Offices® | Wisconsin

  21. I live in California and just very recently got my divorce finalized. On the final document submitted, it stated that I’m requesting my name to be restored to my previous name. I explained it to the mediator who was assisting us with our paperwork, that I wanted to switch my maiden middle and last name. So if for example, I was Mel Smith Lane before I got married, I wanted it to be Mel Lane Smith after the divorce. She said she thinks it should be okay and put it the way I asked and she said, we’d see what the court says. The court approved it but before I go to the Social Security office, I want to make sure that this is okay. I don’t want to go through the whole process only to find out later that it was an oversight and that it isn’t allowed.

  22. I live in Florida and the judge specifically told me that once he signed my divorce decree my legal name would be changed back to my maiden name once he signed it. I did not realize that (thought I would just have the option) but I didn’t want anything to stop the divorce so I said OK. I travel frequently for work and it is a big hassle to change my name on my documents. Since my name was legally changed back to my maiden name in January, do I have to definitely change my IDs and notify my job this year for tax purposes, etc? I asked the judge at the time and he didn’t think it was an issue to wait unless I was entering another legal contract such as a home purchase or new marriage. I would like a second opinion and am wondering if it would be worth the cost to just to legally change my name back to my married name to avoid he hassle!

  23. I live in NJ and just got divorced. I asked to go back to my maiden name during court proceedings, which was granted. Now I am thinking I may not want to change it back, just way to much to change and with my job etc. Am I required to do so now?? I saw above where it said not required, but those questions where from a few years ago.

  24. I live in NYS and have been divorced for 10+ years. I would like to change my last name to my mother’s maiden name. Is this possible??

  25. I was married 2007 and was giving my husband last name although i never changed it in my social security nor dmv i kept using my maiden name. Today i got divorce and i was granted the option to take back my maiden name. The thing is now the im divorce i decided i want my married name.
    Is it possible to change my name to my married name? Even though i never used nor change into my married name wen i was married?

  26. I was divorced 12 years ago. On my paperwork it says I’d like to change my name back to my maiden name, however, I was 19 and never went to the Social Security office. Is it too late? The notary says their commission expires November 19, 2006.

    1. As far as I know, there is no time limit on when you can change your name back to your maiden name, unless such a time limit was set forth in the document itself. It is irrelevant when the notary’s license was up for renewal, or whether or not the notary renewed its license.

  27. I recently divorced in October, however, we have reconciled and we also have children together. I am regretting changing my name back to my maiden name. The judge changed it back during the divorce hearing. Can I easily have this reversed? If not, how do I go about getting back my married name? I haven’t started changing my name back with other entities yet. Thank you!

  28. We were divorced in Kansas after 16 years of marriage. The decree states that my maiden name could be restored. My ex-husband said I could keep the last name because of my career and the time I’ve spent with my married name. He has remarried and she is demanding that I change my last name. I want to tell her to take a flying leap.

  29. I was granted right to change back to my maiden name in my divorce decree in 2014, I have not done so as of yet. I am currently engaged but do not plan to marry for another 2 years. However, my ex is very difficult and I do not want to wait 3 years to remove his name legally.
    I am a registered NURSE, therefore I do not want to change everything now and again in 3 years. Any suggestions?
    Do I change everything now back to my maiden name

    or can I change to maiden name and hyphenate with my future married name (so I wont have to do it again in 3 years.? …or I cant just add any name unless it is for marriage.

    would that give me the option to use maiden name and then when Im married I can use married name (since I would have both names legally)?

  30. Hi Ginita,
    I was googling to find an answer to a name change situation and I came across this page. It looks like you have been answering many questions,really appreciate that. This week I ran into the most bizarre thing. I have been making plans to travel Asia. I noticed that my passport still has my married name. I got divorced in 2012. Right after I got divorced I had my name changed to my maiden name with DMV, Social Security, banks and etc. So, since 2012 I have been using my current or maiden name with all these agencies plus IRS. This week, while trying to renew my passport to have my maiden I discovered that I do not have a court ordered document saying I changed my name. So I was going to go to acceptance facility to provide every other document showing my current maiden name. My travel plans have gotten postponed now I no longer need to expedite renewing my passport. This morning I called the multnomah county courthouse to get a copy of the court ordered name change document. They looked and looked and they do not have one. There has not been a request made. It seems that my divorce decree doesn’t say I can change my name either. I know wherever that I went and changed my married name to maiden name I provided the divorce decree, marriage dissolution certificate and any other documents that I may have provided. How did DMV and social security office change my name then without it being in the divorce decree? Also, I have no clue what direction I should take now. Is this a question for an attorney? Would you have advice? Do I just file a civil name change with the courts or do I need to hire an attorney? Thanks in advance.

    1. You should be able to change your name on your passport to the same name on your drivers license and social security. It shouldn’t require any paperwork saying you can change your name. The fact that you have been using this name since 2012 on all official documents should be sufficient.

  31. I was divorced in 2013 here in FL and I never received a copy of the divorce papers. I recently requested and receive them. However, the papers say that my name was not restored to former and if I want to change it to my maiden name I have to pay $412 which I cannot afford. How could I go about the change since I cannot afford it?

  32. Getting a divorce and wanting to change last name but not to maiden name. Can I have it changed to my mother’s maiden name?

  33. I requested to change my name to my maiden name after the divorced was final. It was written in my divorce decree. But I’m not really in a hurry to do so. Now Im applying for a citizenship. I am a given the option to either change or not. If I don’t want to change it, is it going to be a problem? I am in WA.
    Please help.

    Thank you,

      1. Hello Ginita,

        in reference of my question to you on 10/5:
        Maria says:
        October 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm

        I requested to change my name to my maiden name after the divorced was final. It was written in my divorce decree. But I’m not really in a hurry to do so. Now Im applying for a citizenship. I am a given the option to either change or not. If I don’t want to change it, is it going to be a problem? I am in WA.
        Please help.

        Thank you,

        I need your input on this one: This is one of the specific instructions in applying for citizenship.

        Name change (optional). A court can allow you to change your name when you are naturalized. Any name change you request on this application will not be final until you are naturalized by the court.d If you want the court to change your name at your naturalization oath ceremony, select “yes” and complete this section. You do not need to request a name change if your name has changed through marriage, divorce, or other court order.

        Customer Service at the immigration doesn’t know, they just want me to submit and then tell me later, the other lawyer said i have to, and the other lawyer thinks that I don’t have to.

        Thank you for your help again.

  34. Hi I wanted to change my last name back to my maiden name on my social security card and with the marriage certificate it’s still has my fulled maiden name on it and when I call the divorce court to see if I can change my last name they told me my last name never change its always been the same but as long I have the divorce decree I can always show to the social security administration to change back to my maiden last name is that correct or not?

  35. Jennifer Mackay

    I was married once before, got divorced and never changed my name back to my maiden name. Now my second and I are divorcing. Very bad relationship. Don’t want to keep his name. Can I go back to my maiden name or do I have to go back to my first ex-husband last name

  36. Hello,

    I was divorced about 2 years ago in CT, moved to PA a year before it was final. I was married for 25 yrs. My court order (decree) states “the name of the defendant is restored to my maiden name”. I was busy concentrating on work, sending my son to college and trying to fix my credit by paying off debt, and it was easier to keep my married name for the time being. So I didn’t change it yet. Now my ex is threatening to have me arrested for identify theft, fraud, etc and saying I used his credit up to buy my house since my last name is still his, and now he gets half of it. I always thought my credit is individual to me and not joint, and the last name did nothing, thought married & maiden were associated only to me. I didn’t see a date listed in the document when my name had to be changed. I’m wondering if I need to quickly find a lawyer to help me with this situation.

  37. Hi,
    I been married twice, and divorced both times. Currently I use my 2nd husband’s last name. In my divorce papers i put i want to restore my maiden name, because i was under the impression that was the only choice. But now, after the judgement, i want to restore my former last name (1st husband’s last name).

    1. Do the papers say exactly what last name is being restored? For example, Melissa Smith? If not, then I would think that it simply gives you the opportunity to change your name to something different, whatever it is.

        1. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

          Check with the court clerk to see whether you can get the court order changed to show the name you want it to be changed to. If not, see if there’s an application that you can file to restore the name you once used that you’d like to use again

  38. Hello, I reside in San Bernadino County CA. My husband of 33 years filed for divorce last fall and I planned to just let it default but it was temporarily put on hold. His paralegal as of one week ago did filed the papers as I could not afford attorney and again plan to just let it default. It does read I keep the house which is now completely paid for and he all the “toys” and his 401k. I have been having a difficulty time with it all and once was a very strong determined woman who could handle things thrown my way, I inherited my parents stubborn determination, they were both born and raised in Ireland and we were very close. I lost my Dad right my husband walked out, I then had my Mom move in with me a month later, hired a caretaker for her while I worked full time as a RN. It was all so overwhelming? I wasn’t able to eat or sleep, I’m 5’6″ and went down to 95 pounds from sheer exhaustion and then a month later I just fell over and broke my hip, 2 1/2 weeks later fell again destroyed hip shattered femur, then for good measure did it again 2 months after that for total of 3 times so I can no longer work especially running around a hospital. I have already been through my saving, 401k, Mom and Dad’s tiny bit that they left me as I wait for a disability hearing at the end of the year as I currently live off the change of an almost empty sparkeletts bottle that was recently full. Sorry, sometimes I have to write it all down so I remember “yes it’s true, your not dreaming” so my simple question after all that useless information is, since the papers were just filed can I have his paralegal add an addendum, if she agrees, to be able to change back to my maiden name as we had no children? Or do I have to wait till I recieve divorce papers in ? many months then follow the above instructions. Also I am filing bankruptcy on about $18,000 in credit card debit, bye bye years of an 850, in a month, doing myself so getting papers together now. Because of the bankruptcy should I wait and have that all completed and keep my current name then have it changed? Also, I would really like to thank you for taking the time to read and answer as many of ladies the questions that you do, it’s I great help. I would also like to apologize for rambling on about my personal sirptuation that really gas no baring when it comes to addressing my question. Thanks again

  39. Ramsey Sutter

    I’m from Missouri and kept my husbands name after we divorced, for my kids I felt it best. Now I’m ready to change it back to my maiden name, how?

  40. I divorced in 2008, and my decree grants me the right to revert back to my maiden name; however, I never did. Now I am considering remarrying. I would like my maiden name to appear on my new marriage license and then once married, take my new husband’s last name. Is it possible to change my name back to my maiden name then a couple of months later change it again to new husband’s last name or is this too much trouble?

    1. To change your name back to your maiden name, take the original (or certified) divorce decreee to the Social Security office. After that, you’ll need to visit the DMV to change your driver license. Then after your marriage you can take your marriage license to Social Security to change your name to your new husband’s name. Then back to the DMV to change your driver’s license. And after that, you can change your bank accounts.

  41. This is helpful information. Thanks.
    one more question, I am in Florida, do you know if there is a way to get a fee waiver in Flo?

  42. Getting remarried In Texas and I’m still carrying my ex husband last name. When we go to sign the marriage license, can I sign with my maiden name or the name I’m currently carrying?

  43. Please help. I never changed my name on my social security card to my married name. I need to finally get it on my social security card. It’s on every thing but my social security card. But. I’ve been divorced for two years. In the divorce papers there is no decree for my name to be changed back to my maiden. But the social security office keeps asking for it. But I never got one that said I have to change my name. What should I do where should I go? Courthouse?

  44. I have my decree and I also asked to have my maiden name restored. And I’m in California and it is also stated in other orders on FL-345. My exs is starring I have to change it back cause it’s a court order and it had to be done the day my divorce was final which as 3/3/16. He then went ahead and wrote my child/alimony check to my maiden name and said he won’t rewrite it cause my name was suppose to be changed as of 3/3/16. Is there a time frame in which it has to be done and do I have to cause it states it in form FL-180 and FL-345?

    1. You have the right to change your name back, which you can do at any time, but you are not obligated to do so. Your former spouse is obligated to make support payments to you under your legal name at the time the payments are made. I hope he doesn’t waste money and the court’s time by forcing you to take legal action against him to get him to comply.

  45. HI – I just recently got my divorce decree in the state of CO. In the paperwork – I requested to change my name back to my maiden name (it was cheaper to do the request now with the divorce paperwork vs doing it separately later). Now that I have the final divorce decree in my hand – it states “The petitioner is granted a restoration of the prior name and it has my full maiden name inserted” Does this mean my name is changed back, or do I have to actually go to the SS office or do something else? Confused at this point….help? I am in no rush to change it – just wanted to be able to when the time was right.

    1. That gives you the right to change your name, if you so choose. You are not required to do so, but if you do, you’ll have to get it changed on all of your records (social security card, DMV, banks, etc).

      1. Ok – great! That is what I thought based on the previous posts I saw related to the same thing. Thank you!

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  48. I got married in 2007. Received my citizenship with my then husbands last name. Got divorced and got my divorce decree for my maiden name. I have not changed it since then on any of my documents including my naturalization certificate. If I re marry in the future can I go ahead and just submit my new marriage certificate to get a new naturalization certificate with my new married name or should I just submit my divorce decree and get my maiden name and then submit again with the new marriage certificate. I don’t want to cause confusion or pay double the fees.

  49. Debbie cop/nurse

    Wow I thought I was the only one with issues. So, my first marriage ended 42 yrs ago, remarried 2x after that, payed $150. to petition my maiden name back which I’ve used through last 2 marriages as a hyphen. Just tried to sign up for medicare, but still work until 70, it was declined saying they have me as my first married name. I can’t find any documentation at court house that it was legally changed, but I’ve been known by my maiden name for all of these years, social security has me down as my maiden name. The fact that my last 2 divorce decrees have my maiden name in the petition make any difference, or do I just suck it up and pay another attorney to get it changed again???

  50. I was divorced in 1991. There is no mention in my divorce decree to go back to my maiden name. Through the years, I just took on my maiden name. Am I legal or do I have to go back and make the change legal.

  51. I am about to settle my divorce and my former husband has requested I change back to my maiden name; which I don’t mind. We both have moved on during a long separation and now divorce is finally being finalized; I am going to be remarried in 10 months and wanted to know if I can change my name ahead of time during this divorce finalization to be my new married name or do I have to change back to my maiden name then change again when I am remarried?

  52. I was married in 1997 and dropped my maiden name taking my husband’s last name. We divorced in 2006 and at the time we had 2 small boys so I chose to keep my married name. Now the boys are older and I am to be remarried next year. I would like to take back my maiden name as well as take my new husband’s last name. Is this possible? Would I have to change to my maiden name before the marriage? My divorce decree says nothing about allowing me to return to my maiden name. We were married and divorced in Galveston, TX .

  53. I am divorced and never took back my Maiden name. I have remarried, but not legally changed my name yet. Can I change back to my maiden name and hyphenate my new last name. Example: maiden is Jacobs, married is Pasciak…i want my new legal married last name to be Jacobs-Good.

  54. Upon my divorce, I took back my maiden name. It was a mistake. Is there any way to regain my married name without remarrying?

  55. Think long and hard before changing names, especially during the first months of divorce planning. I was angry. I wanted nothing to do with his last name, but 9 years later I regret it, especially since we were divorce in two days and he died within the first two years after our divorce. We were working our way back to remarriage. Today, I am so sad that I legally reverted to my maiden name. I feel like I’ve stabbed a dagger through my own heart. I loved him (angry or not). Two days wasn’t really fair. He was an attorney, he could do that; though the judge wasn’t so sure this was cool. I want my married name back to honor his memory. Life Happens; give yourself time to be SURE!!!

  56. Having similar issue with my new Driver’s license. Was previously married and divorced and am remarried now. My marriage license shows my former married name because I never changed it back but they won’t take it as proof of identity because it doesn’t match my birth certificate. Ugh!

  57. I got divorced 10 years ago in Idaho, I live in oregon now. I was born in Seattle. I did not want to change my last name back to my maiden name at the time of divorce, but I am ready to now. What steps do I have to take, and will there be a fee?

  58. If my divorce was done in the state my ex-husband lives, but I live in California. Can I request the name change through the California FL-395, Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment and Order ? Thank you.

  59. Pingback: Changing To Your Maiden Name After Divorce | Quick 16 Bit Radio

  60. Hello and thank you for this great information! I was divorced 10 years ago and never changed back to my maiden name. I really don’t want ‘either’ name anymore…I want one of my OWN. Is it legally possible to simply ‘choose’ a last name I’d like to have and legally assume it? I see celebrities and certain religious practices do it all the time. How did they manage it?

  61. Funda Duyal Istvan

    Hi. Thank you so much for this great information. I got divorced in New Jersey in April 2015 but was too gutted to change my name. I am a performing artist and have had a professional (AEA & SAG/AFTRA unions) stage name because my former maiden name was very foreign-sounding. I am born and bred in the US and I am frankly sick of being foreign-sounding (being a middle-eastern, aging divorcee is all the “other”-ness I need, thank you very much) and I feel it works against me as I try to re-enter the (non-arts) workforce after being a stay-at-home-mom and freelancer. I am in a practical mindset right now, above all other considerations. So, to reiterate, because everything I just said must be confusing: I want a new name that SOUNDS LIKE my maiden name but is slightly tweaked to be more English-sounding. Is that change going to be a hugely difficult task? Is it even possible?

  62. I got divorced in April and the judge granted my maiden name back but I have not changed it yet ..I’m getting remarried in October is it OK to keep my first marriage name or should I change it fast

  63. Ok, thank you, I suppose the worst the judge could say is no to the last name I put in the divorce paperwork. ????

  64. I’m filling out divorce paperwork, I’m on my second marriage. I would like to have both my maiden name and my first husband’s last name/kids last name. Can I request this in the divorce decree? Do I have to hyphen in between the two last names? If I ever remarried, could my maiden name be a second middle name? Could this be done with the marriage license?

    1. In most states, you can request any name that you want. And if you remarry, you can change your name and use your maiden name as a middle name. I don’t believe that there is any place to provide for this on a marriage license, you just do it after your marriage.

  65. I asked for my name to be changed back to my maiden name. My divorce decree says I am now known as Michelle Maiden name, how long do I have to legal change with DOT & Social security?

  66. Can I still legally change my name back if my divorce papers that says I want my name back has a miss print ?

    1. You can legally change your name to whatever you want. If your divorce papers gave you that right, then you can use that as your permission. If not, then you will have to go through a more formal process. Just Google, “How to change your name in ___________”

  67. Hello Ginita Wall,

    I married in 1978 in California. I divorced in 2002 in Arizona. I currently live back in California. When I got my divorce, the judge asked me if I wanted to go back to my maiden name or keep my married name. I kept my married name and that is stated in my divorce decree. I’ve now decided I want to go back to my maiden name. How do I go about doing that? And which state do I do it in? Do I just follow the steps in this article or is changing my name back to my maiden name a more difficult procedure since I kept my maiden name?

      1. So are you saying that I can’t change back to my maiden name by using the steps in this article??? If yes, then I am confused as to why I can’t follow the steps in the article to go back to using my maiden name!

        Basically I thought I met the criteria to use the steps listed in your article. I just wanted to make sure that was the case since my divorce decree states I will be keeping my married name. Please clarify! Thank you!

  68. Just sharing. In the city of Norwalk, CA, it cost me less than $2 to make a copy of the application you fill out when you miss the step of asking the judge to grant you your maiden name back, buying a stamp and an envelope. Really easy.

  69. I live in Louisiana and just got a divorce from my second husband last November. Since he was the petitioner for the divorce he did not request for my removal of his last name. The divorce decree does not state name change or reinstatement. How can I go back to using my first husbands name that is the same of my two children.

  70. I am in the process of divorce and I want to use my birth name afterwards. I was adopted when I was 10 and my adopted name is considered my “maiden” name. Is there an extra step or hoops to jump through for this? I have my original SS card with my birth name on it as well as my adoption papers etc. My mediator wasn’t sure if I could do this or not.

  71. I was divorced in Kansas over 8 years ago. They never mentioned changing my name back to my maiden name at the time. I now wish to change my name to my maiden name and live in Ga. How do I do this Please!?? IMy daughter I wish to change her name as well.. paternity shows he is not the father?? any help would be appreciated!

  72. I am doing a DIY divorce. .Getting the divorce papers from library here in Georgia. . I just dont know if there is a special paper im going to need to add to it to request my previous name back and if so what is it called .. thank you

  73. what if I reside in a different state from the one I got divorced? I got divorced five years ago in NJ and now I live in Pennsylvania. I did not file to change my name back then but I am ready now. Can I do the name change in the court where I live now?

  74. Hello. I divorced my 2nd husband in 2006 and said no when the Judge asked if I wanted to go back to my maiden name. I don’t have a copy of my decree, so I’m not sure what it says, but I do understand the process for having that changed in the decree if it isn’t already in there. But what if I want to hyphenate my maiden name along with my married name? Can I do that via process you outlined initially or would that be a complete name change?

  75. My question is if you remarried and u still have your exhusbands last name. And didn’t change with dmv.
    Is there any penalty or a period of time to change it. Snd c as n I use my maiden nsme instead of my marriedhusband last nsme

  76. Will a University reissue your diploma with your maiden name on it after you legally change your name back?

  77. I recently got divorced but I have been divorced from my first husband since 2010. Got remarried in 2011. Now I am divorced again. I always wanted to keep my first husband name because of legal things and my two children. How can I change back to my first husband name?

  78. I recently got divorced. I asked for my previous last name and was granted it. I never went to the ss office or dmv to change it back to my previous. Now my ex husband and I are trying to work it, can I just keep my married last name or because I asked to go back to my previous I have to do that? I live in il

  79. My marriage and divorce occurred in Missouri. I am now a resident of California. My decree states, ” The court orders, adjudges, and decrees that the Petitioner’s (me) maiden name is Flowers.” Does that allow me to return to using my maiden name or do I need to do other filings? My divorce was finalized in 2008.

  80. I’m not divorced yet, but is there any way I can resume my maiden name BEFORE the divorce is finalized? I understand that divorces take a minimum of 31 days to process. I’ll be starting a new job before then and don’t want to explain a reason for the name change after getting hired with a different surname.

  81. I just received my final decree of divorce. Will I also need my marriage certificate to change my name or just the divorce papers

  82. I was married in 2011 and changed my name got divorced was awarded my maiden name back but never changed it was remarried and divorced again and also was rewarded my name back but I never changed it at the social security office from my first marriage what do i do to get my maiden name and will i get in trouble?

    1. You were given the right to use your maiden name again, so you can resume use of it at any time. You likely will need to show the document that gives you that right when you apply for a name change at the DMV, your bank, etc.

  83. We lived in Marlyand when we separated and I then moved back to New Jersey. He filed for divorce in Maryland and we are in the divorce process now. I’m graduating from undergrad soon and I do not want my degree to have his name. My school won’t change it until I can provide new ID with maiden name. Where do I file for name change? In Maryland or New Jersey?

    1. If you want to wait until your divorce is final, you can ask that it be included in your Maryland divorce papers. If you want to do it sooner, then you will do it in the state in which you reside, which is New Jersey. You can also ask your divorce attorney if there’s a way that the family law court in MD could grant you the name change before the divorce is final.

  84. I live in Kentucky, finalized divorce earlier this year. My divorce papers state I will maintain my married name and change my daughter’s name to married name as well (her birth name was made my maiden name because divorce was filed during pregnancy) . Can I hyphenate our last names instead keeping maiden and married? Our marriage was only 4 months, so most educational, loans, etc are in my maiden name. I prefer my maiden name as well, especially since it was my daughter’s birth name.

  85. My divorce decree allowes me to change my name. I have two young children and not sure if i want to change it
    I was thinking after they all grow up which is 9 more years. Also, I am going to college, i dont want to have my ex last name on my diploma.
    I am a green card holder. My green card would be expire in march. I am planning to apply citizenship. My question is if I apply citizenship name with my ex last name so his last name would be in the certificate? Should I change my last name first before I apply citizenship?

  86. As far as the governments is concerned, they still have me with my maiden name. Do I have to do anything more other then change my driver licensebback to my maiden name. When I last renewed my driver license the person at Motor vehicles started to tell me they could not renew it with my married named I informed them that I was going through a divorce and that the next time I renew my license my maiden name will be used.

    1. If you are using your maiden name for all purposes except your drivers license, and you are going to have your maiden name restored in the divorce, then you’ll only have to change your drivers license. If you are using it for other purposes, such as banking, credit cards, etc., then you’ll have to change it on those records also.

  87. Hi, if my soon to be ex husband filed the divorce papers and was the petitioner, can he mark on the paperwork that me, the respondent, want to change name back to maiden name? It is proceeding as a default case since I did not respond to the initial filings. Thx

  88. Hi i would like to change my name back to my maiden name what are the first steps i need to do and does it cost a lot of money? Thank you from colorado

  89. I’ve been married for over 20 years and changing my name back to my maiden name is daunting even though there’s no kids involved. My maiden name although shorter, is just as difficult to spell or say as my married name. I have all my public items with my married name i.e. domain/web site, email addresses, LinkedIn, Facebook. Updating my credit and social security is a pain, but what a hassle telling everyone I’m divorced publicly is scary. I was thinking why not create a new last name that’s easy to say and spell, or just keep the married name? Anyway, a friend at the time of marriage changed her first name, along with her last and that’s where the idea came from to have the freedom to do that. The only issue I see is the people who have known me forever would interpret the new name as I’ve remarried. I saw that you mentioned on a post if the judge updates my new name or maiden that it doesn’t require me to do so right away but the paperwork would be done for the future.

  90. I am going through my 2nd divorce and have a daughter from each marriage. I kept my 1st husbands name until I was married the 2nd time. Because I don’t want to have one or the other child’s last name and don’t want to go back to my maiden name and have neither can I have my name change to a hyphenated name with both. I am getting divorced in Mo and want to know if this is legal and can be done with my divorce. Thank you

    1. As far as I know, your name can be whatever name you choose. Check with your divorce attorney and/or a divorce clerk at the courthouse to be sure it can be done with your divorce. There should be a place on the paperwork to indicate the new name that you want to take.

  91. I just turned in the FL-395 here in California and it was free. In 2 weeks I go get my official name change paperwork reclaiming my maiden name. I was divorced 15 years ago and I still had copies of my divorce decree and added my birth cert for good measure!

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I am stalling because I’m still not sure what I want my name to be. It’s good to know there isn’t a rush!

  92. How long can I wait to change my name after my divorce is final without going thru the steps outlined at the beginning of this article? I would like to take my divorce decree to the DMV and begin the name change process as described but would like to delay for a bit–up to one year. Is this reasonable? What is an acceptable time frame to delay in Washington State without going thru the more complicated process?

  93. Hello, maybe you can shed some light on the situation I am in. In 2008 my first divorce was finalized, and I had the decree stating that my maiden name be restored. I never went back to my maiden name, and continued to use my first husband’s last name. I even got married for the second time in 2010, and on that marriage license I used my first husband’s last name when signing it. I never took or used my second husband’s last name because I didn’t want his last name. Then in the same year 2010 my driver’s license was suspended because my insurance lapsed. I had to go to the DMV to change my last name over to my maiden name on my driver’s license, and down to the Social Security office to change my last name to my maiden name on my social security card. With that being said I am trying to get hired as a correctional officer in the state of Florida, and they are telling me that since I didn’t use my maiden name on the second marriage license that they cannot further process my application. Their reasoning is that I should have documentation that I went back to my maiden name instead of using my first husband’s last name on the second marriage license……….I am so lost, because I know I can’t go back and change my second marriage license because of us being divorced already. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    1. Are you sure they understand the chronology of what happened? From your description, at the time you married your second husband you had not yet changed your name back to your maiden name. So you used your married name to sign the license. Subsequent to that you changed your name to your maiden name, and henceforth will use that name. But changing your name doesn’t mean that things in your past (such as your marriage license) are changed. It sounds as though the corrections dept thinks that you changed your name before you remarried, and doesn’t understand that though you had permission to change your name, you had not yet taken the necessary steps to do so.

  94. This question seems to be asked over and over, but I still need clarification. I am divorced from my second husband. It was not put in our divorce papers to change my name and now he is insisting that I change it either to my previous married name (the same as my children) which I prefer or go back to my maiden name which I do not want to do. Will the court force me to change my last name? Or if I decide to do this, I would like to go back to my previous married name instead of my maiden name. My first husband is now remarried, is there any reason that I can not use my previous married name? Many people still know me by that name. Thanks you.

    1. Your name is your name — you can take whatever name you choose, including keeping the name you have now. The court won’t force you to change your name — you will have to get it done legally, but whatever name you choose will be yours.

      1. Hi i have a question i had my divorce 2 years ago and i wanted my Madden name back at the time but for different reasons im now wanting to keep my last name as my ex husbands name and now he is re married and his new wife is telling me that i have to change my name back because in our divorce it was changed by the judge do i have to change it or can i keep my married name. Im needing to now because our children are in my ex husbands county for school and his new wife said she sent the school our divorce papers showing the judge gave me back my Madden name and if its not changed i can not have any contact with my children for any type of school events.

        1. Egad, the only person worse to take legal advice from than your ex spouse is his new wife! The judge did not change your name, he gave you permission to change it. So if you ever want to change your name, you can, but you certainly aren’t required to do so legally, or to have contact with your children.

  95. While reading the marriage settlement agreement into the court record, I requested my former maiden name to be restored, but now I have changed my mind. Do I need to now go by the restored former name, or can I just continue to use my married last name?

  96. While reading the marriage settlement agreement, I requested my former maiden name to be restored, but now I have changed my mind. Do I need to now go by the restored former name, or can I just continue to use my married last name?

  97. When I married my first husband, I never legally changed my last name to his name. When I petitioned the court for a divorce, however, I used my married name. The divorce was granted. This was over 17 years ago. Since my last name was never legally changed after I married the first time, is my divorce legal? I remarried 5 years ago. Is my marriage to my current spouse legal given the fact that my divorce was granted under a name that had not been legally changed?

  98. I will be getting divorced soon in NJ and I intend to have the option of returning to my maiden name in my final divorce decree. I am wondering if I can still use the title “Mrs” with my maiden name as I am not a big fan of “Ms?”

  99. I am getting remarried soon. I kept my ex-husband’s last name after the divorce and I am considering hyphenating it with my new married name due to the fact I have children with that last name that I am raising still. Can you discuss the pros and cons of doing this? I have read that some people feel hyphenating is a hassle. Also, is it a bad idea to keep your previously married name with a new married name?

  100. My ex-husband and I lived in California. When he got stationed in North Carolina, he divorced me there while I still lived in California. I didn’t want a name change then because the children were very small. Now that they are all grown, I would like my maiden name back. Do I petition the court where the divorce took place to regain my maiden name?

  101. Hi
    My divorce decree States that i am restoring my maiden name will it automatically change after my divorce is finalized? And, do they send me the divorce decree in the mail to revised it first before they file it with the courts?

  102. I divorced in Ventura county California and was unsure off restoring my maiden name due to my kids. I now live in Wayne county Michigan and have decided I want my maiden name back. Can I just send a form in to either Michigan or California? Going downtown to Detroit is a pain in the butt. I just want my name back. It shouldn’t be this complicated to have back what is mine anyways.

    1. If your divorce decree gives you the right to restore your maiden name, then you can take that decree to the DMV and Social Security Administration to do so. Otherwise, you can petition the court in the state where you are a resident to change your last name. You will have to file a new complaint for a name change, have your fingerprints taken and have the state police check your criminal record, and you will have to publish a document in the legal news and go before the judge to have it approved.

  103. I have a question to ask…. i got divorced in January and in the divorce papers it says i shall be restored to my maiden name. my question is do i have to change it and will i get in trouble if i dont??? i have not had time to go to the social security office to get a new card and all that stuff. this was the only way my ex would sign the divorce papers. can i use either my married name or maiden name ???

  104. Can i keep my married name and pick my maiden name back up. My decree allows me to have my maiden name back.

      1. I was divorced last November and the decree said my maiden name was restored, but I haven’t done anything at Social Security or DMV or banks. I plan on remarrying so don’t want to go through the hassle of restoring my maiden name and then adding in another married name at some other time this year. Can I just keep my last husband’s name (even though my decree says otherwise) and if so, can I marry again without first reverting back to my maiden name?

      2. Ruth Ramos-Olsen

        Good evening,

        I have been reading these comments and this particular one dated April 13th, 2015 does seem to answer my question. Although I would still need clarity on it…

        As far as I read I “can” leave/stay with my hyphened- married name although I have on my divorce decree dated March 26th, 2015 from Connecticut stating that I have allotted to drop his name and stay with my maiden name?

        As a previous commentator wrote that she was lazy and never changed any documents back. I too did the same when I married and “only” initially changed my social security card and nothing else. I am now 2 1/2 months divorced and thought I would like to stay with my married name and my former is good with that. (We are in good terms.)

        So basically I am asking if I am able to resume with my “hyphenated name” and continue the process to change all my papers to it?

        Thank you
        Ruth Ramos-Olsen

  105. Hi. I got married in Indiana and divorced in Missouri where I currently reside. In the decree it does state that I can take my maiden name back which I’m ready to do. However I just don’t know where or how to make that happen. Do you just take the final divorce decree to the county clerks office? Thanks.

    1. The best place to start is with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Take your divorce decree with you and get a new driver’s license. When your new license is sent to you, use that license as evidence of your new name to gradually make the changes with banks, credit card companies, Social Security, employers, etc.

  106. Brandy Nisownger

    I was married in Missouri and soon after we got transferred to VA. When we got divorced it was filed and completed in VA. I am now back in Missouri and I want to go back to my maiden name (it is not in the decree). I need to know what state I file the request in, MO or VA?

    1. Since your VA divorce decree didn’t give you your name back, you’ll need to either (a) amend your VA divorce decree, or (b) request a name change in MO, the state in which you reside. I’m guessing that the least expensive option would be (b), but I don’t know for sure.

      1. Shelley K Santiago

        I have a serious issue. I changed my name to Santiago when I got married 18years ago. I got divorced and never went back to my maiden name. I recently got married again. I thought that my marriage licence would say my maiden name, Smith, but it says Santiago. My wife intended on taking my maiden last name, Smith. How do we go about this?

        1. Your marriage license listed your legal name. Your spouse can change her name after marriage to something other than your name, but it may requires more than just the marriage license; usually, a court order is needed. Each state is different about what they require, so be sure to check your own state’s laws on the topic. And if you also want to change your name, you’ll follow the same procedure.

  107. Hi there,
    I have been divorced for 10 years and never changed back to my maiden name. I was thinking about filing a form FL-395, but wanted to know if I could choose another surname (which was not a previous name), rather than my maiden name. Is this allowed or do I have to go through a complete name change process? Thank you for your help.

  108. I would like to change my name back to my maiden name. I have been divorced 29 years, I know a long time. For different reasons, I never changed it before. I am now in a common-law relationship, but everyone thinks I am married. No one knows about my previous marriage. It was a bad marriage, he was abusive. I really don’t want his name anymore. I don’t want everyone at work to know my past and I don’t want to explain it. This is really bothering me of what to tell people. What do I tell people at work of why I am now changing myname? A counselor suggested to say, that I am going back to my birth name. Please help if you have any ideas or suggestions as to what I should say or do.

  109. Can I still change my last name if I have been divorced in 1986 and have been with him as common law since then on and off

      1. I have a question: so I had been married (or so I thought) for just under 3 years and divorced for 3 years now. I only had gotten my marriage license and never signed anything after that, so there was no judge or civil ceremony, so does that mean that I was never actually legally married? Why wouldn’t the lawyer of my ex catch that? They charged him to file for divorce from me and I forgot to put in the decree that I wanted to change my name back to my married name. So if my marriage was actually never a legal marriage, could I go back to my maiden name without being charged? I know this sounds so confusing, cause it’s confusing to me, but I don’t want to pay a $250 fee to change it back when it could have been not legal to change my name originally in the first place . How Can I find out it my marriage was actually legal or not? Thanks in advance

          1. I’ve been married 3 times. I’ve been divorced from my 3rd husband for about 14-15yrs now. My 2nd husband was the love of my life, he passed away at just 40 yrs old. My question is can I take back his last name. I have a burial plot where I am to be buried next to him.

  110. Having that man’s last name hanging on me constantly reminds me of the terrible situation I somehow
    survived and regaining my maiden name (which I like far better anyway) will help me more as becoming better able to handle situations arises. I feel it really is very important for me to get rid of that last name I took on when marrying that person. The biggest problem for me is not having the money to pay for things. No bank account, no “cards” … just the amount of cash I’m allotted monthly. We don’t get taken out very often but I read a lot and am a writer so I keep busy … also love to study the Bible. So far, I’ve been living in this facility for a little over 2 yrs. Most of the people are quite a bit older than I am and love playing bingo and such and those kinds of games are just not my idea of fun! If you could help me get my maiden name back, I would certainly be sooooooooo g l a d ! Thank you for caring enough to allow people to voice their concerns. You are very kind in doing this.

      1. i have dirvoce two months ago can i keep my ex husband surname for the sake of going up and down for charging my documents

        1. I have been divorced for about four years now in the paper work it does show that I can change my name back to my madin name but haven’t now I’m getting remarried do I need to change my name before I do please help

    1. I was divorced some years ago, but don’t have any papers about it since he did it after I escaped with my daughter. Yes, he was abusive and kept me fairly out of it with meds from his dial-a-doc for pills. He supposedly had found another victim to marry, but when visiting my mother she said she’d gotten some papers but didn’t know where they were.
      How would I go about getting a copy of the divorce papers.

      See, I changed my name via common law usage. I wrote under a pen name and decided to take that name as my own after I left. But would the divorce papers be enough to allow me to have my new name so that I don’t have to go through a bunch of legal hoops and costs?

      According to what I’ve read about common law usage, it carries the same weight as if it was done via the court. But so many places keep trying to state that the only way to change the name is through the courts. I’ve actually have had my current name for over 30 years, which is longer than I had used my birth name actually.

      It would be nice if the divorce papers would be the piece I need that would allow me to not have to worry all the time about my changed name vs. my birth certificate name when getting my ID card renewal. I really don’t like the changes that make getting your documents harder.

      I still have to figure out how to get an error on my daughter’s birth certificate corrected. Some clerk mistook MS for Missouri instead of Mississippi, and they say I have to prove I was born in MS. Try searching for Biloxi, Missouri and I guarantee you aren’t finding it. That should give the person in charge a hint. But no, they have been giving me hassle, plus say that my birth certificate doesn’t have the same name so it can’t be used as proof. I’m about to go ape over here.

      Not to mention that birth record forms state on them, if the parents are not married, do NOT fill out the father’s information. An ex-bf came to the hospital, claiming to be the dad and my fiance… I was in the shower and they “GAVE” him the form I just filled out! Then he signed it and added his surname with a hyphen to mine on the papers.
      I didn’t find out till later that he did that and then it was too late. I tried and tried to get the health dept. person to remove the hyphenated name. Nope. Had to get a notarized paper from the father stating that it could be taken off. Not happening.
      Since we have tried to get his name changed and he’s had the same issue with the clerk – pay her money to process the papers or she won’t take them. Even with a fee waiver included, she’s like go have a judge sign it. Makes me want to scream.

      So done with the whole system… where’s a small island I can move to?

  111. It’s been well over 30 years since being divorced and leaving the person I was married to for many years. Now, I’m living in a facility for people who need help (my memory is terrible so they help me take my meds as now, as a result of the marriage have epilepsy). There is not any money and I have no way of paying anyone anything. (I get $140 a month from the govn’t). I was divorced in CA and am living in Oregon. I’m finally well enough to go out and be with friends (still have severe panic attacks when new to a place). The people in charge here will, I’m sure, take care of any legal matters. I am just wondering, will I be able to finally get my maiden name back again??? Being abused for 12 1/2 yrs certainly took its’ toll on me!

    1. If you don’t have money to file for a name change, ask your local jurisdiction for a fee waiver. I think every City and State have this option.

      1. I have tried to submit a fee waiver with my name change papers here to the clerk in Augusta, Ga. She told me to have a judge sign it and gave it to me, then said I would have to give her $120 to process the name change papers. I didn’t have it so she wouldn’t take the documents. Plus the legal books said that I submit the papers and wait to see if the judge signs the waiver or not. This clerk wouldn’t even take the paperwork. Something seems off about this… what can I do?

        1. I’m sorry, but we are not attorneys and can’t give you legal advice regarding the procedures and fees in your jurisdiction. I wish we could — do they have a legal help desk at the courthouse where they could tell you the procedure for getting a fee waiver and submitting the paperwork?

  112. My divorce decree allowed me to change back to my maiden name, but I was lazy and never did. Now Im in a new relationship and we are talking marriage. Do I have to go back to my maiden name before I can remarry?

  113. The divorce settlement gives me back my former name but how soon do you need to change your name after the divorce? I have several cars that I would eventually like to sell and would like to avoid all the title change charges. Also the house may not sell for a couple of years.

  114. My divorce has been finalized. I’m keeping my married name, but who do I have to notify of my surname change (from married to single)? Tax filing is coming up, so is this something that I have to do? Do I have to let IRS, DMV, and Social Security know? If so, in what order?

  115. I’ve been married and divorced twice. I’ve changed my name during both marriages. Between the first divorce and second, I never changed my name back to my maiden name. Can I use this simple process above to change it back to my maiden name now?

      1. My divorce was final 4/2012 in Riverside County California, my children are now adults and I am contemplating restoring my maiden name but I am conflicted, my relationship of 27 years and marriage of 21 years I was a victim of DV and long history of abuse I suffered, my x told me several times during the divorce that I am not worth of being a Halliburton and I don’t deserve to continue using his name so half of me wants to keep it just to piss him off and the other half of me wants to restore it just to piss him off. I know this bothers him because he’d seen I had used my maiden name and was sure to mention it as if he was insulted.

        If I do decide to request the restoration of my maiden name and file the appropriate paperwork with the court being that it’s in reference to the divorce case will my x be notified or receive notice of my request??

        1. JSH: Keep it to piss him off. I thinking of keeping my married name AND assigning a new last name (different from my maiden name).

      2. I live in NY I got divorced 10 years ago I am so ready for my maiden name. at the time it was a big deal to have to go an do that. then I got a new job was known as the married name. eh its time. the request to change my name IS in my divorce papers however the date my papers were certified are 11/04 is that date going to be a problem.

          1. I am in the same situation; was divorced 15 years ago, kept the married name (“Name A”) for professional reasons. My divorce decree granted my name change back to my maiden name though I never filed to do that. Now, I am getting married again and have a question.

            I do not want Name A to appear on my new marriage certificate. Where Name A is my current Legal name, is that then required to be on these forms? I understand disclosing it as “former names” as part of a divorce etc. but can I legally use my Maiden name on the official Marriage Certificate where the court did grant me permission to revert back to my Maiden name. Or since Name A is my current legal name, I would be required to legally change my name back to my Maiden name so Name A if I want my Maiden name to be used on my Marriage Certificate.

            Thank you in advance.

          2. I just recently got a divorce. Both my ex and I requested I be allowed to go back to my maiden name, however the judge didn’t grant this. What could his reasoning be??

          3. The request must not have been made in correct form so that the judge understood the request. There would be no reason not to grant the request. See if there’s a way that you can petition for the order to be amended to allow that.

          4. I just got a divorce Oct 11,2016.I don’t know I had to ask to get my maiden name back. And my lawyer don’t tell me or ask me. I thought it goes back to your name. So how can I get my name back without going back to court or my lawyer??

    1. I want to change a marriage name from my second husband back to my former married name because it’s the last name of my children how do you do this

  116. In most states, you can request that the judge handling your divorce make a formal order restoring your former or birth name. If your divorce decree contains such an order, that’s all the paperwork you’ll need. You’ll want to get certified copies of the order as proof of the name change. I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Donny, what if 1) the judge retired shortly after my divorce? Also, my lawyer did not tell me I was divorced for 2 months! And that surpassed the 10 days allotted window to change my name.

  117. I divorced in 1987 and the lawyer had told me I couldn’t have my maiden name back because I had two minor children. Which is BS! Now I have to pay for it???

    1. I was told when I went into the probate court to ask about name change a few years after my divorce was final that it would cost me $400.00 for filing fees. I kept my married name at the point of divorce because i am a home owner and the the divorce was a nasty one. What with all the stuff i was already going through at the time the thought of going through changing all my cards, insurance, and deed to another name was discouraging. Now I wish I had. We had no children and I don’t want to carry his name any longer.

      1. Yesenia Gornitzky

        How about that now I live in a different county in Live in Lake county Florida and my Divorce was in Palm Beach county Florida. I got divorced about 9 years ago !

        1. If you were not given permission to change your name in your divorce agreement, then you will have to follow the rules of the county in which you live. The county clerk can direct you as to the proper forms to prepare and file.

  118. Sheila Mae Davis

    I would like to change my last name back to my maiden name. My girls are grown and out of school and has their own last name now. I would like to go back to my maiden name now

  119. It is very useful. I really need an info about name changes after divorce. But I still need one more question, my divorce was done in Los Angeles but now I am residing in San Diego. Can I go to superior court , county of San Diego? Your answer will be helpful. Thank you in advance.

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