Name Change After Divorce
If you’re a woman going through a divorce, you are likely dealing with issues regarding property division, child support and child custody. You may be wondering whether or not you should keep the marital home. One other concern that you might have, but may not seem as important, is changing your name.
You can change your last name as part of your divorce proceedings. If you really want to revert to your maiden name, now is the best time to do it. If you wait years down the road—when the divorce is finalized—the process is much more complicated. It will take a significant amount of time and money.
If you have already filed for divorce, you may still have time to change your name. Under Maryland law, you can amend the divorce papers up to 30 days prior to your divorce hearing so you can request your former name.
Should You Change Your Last Name?
Changing your last name is a personal decision. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse cannot force you to change back to a former name once the divorce has been finalized. You can keep your ex-spouse’s last name—your married name for whatever reason you wish.
If your relationship was toxic, you truly want out of your ex-spouse’s life and don’t want to be associated with him any longer, then you may want to change your name. However, the decision may be harder if you have children from the marriage. If you change your last name, then it will be different from your children’s last name, and you may be afraid that this will cause confusion.
If you established a successful career under your husband’s last name, then you may want to keep it, as changing is as this point in your career can cause confusion for clients and negatively impact your business.
What is the Process?
The name change should be done to revert to a former name. If you want to change to a brand-new name, you’ll need to go through an entirely different process.
The judge will likely ask you during the divorce hearing if you want to change your last name. If you do, the divorce decree will show that you returned to your former name, and it will also list the actual name. After your former last name has been restored, the next step is to officially change your name on financial documents, credit cards, ID cards and other documents. You will need to have a copy of divorce decree on you to make these changes.
Contact a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today
If you’re ready to move on after a divorce, you may want to revert to your maiden name as a way to get a fresh start. However, if children are involved, you may want to keep your last name. Think about this thoroughly, because it’s much harder to change your name once the divorce has been finalized.
The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can answer your questions about name changes and other issues you may be concerned about after a divorce. Our guidance can help you make the right decisions. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.