How to Change Your Last Name Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce

By Marie Murdock

Divorce is stressful enough without having to make all the tough decisions involved at the time. If the divorce involves numerous legal issues, your attorney may neglect to mention that you have the option to revert to the use of your previous name via the divorce decree. On the other hand, you may want more time to make the decision to drop a name you've used for many years. While it may be simpler to make the change at the time, you can still change your name even years after the divorce if you decide to.

Divorce is stressful enough without having to make all the tough decisions involved at the time. If the divorce involves numerous legal issues, your attorney may neglect to mention that you have the option to revert to the use of your previous name via the divorce decree. On the other hand, you may want more time to make the decision to drop a name you've used for many years. While it may be simpler to make the change at the time, you can still change your name even years after the divorce if you decide to.

Step 1

Prepare or have your attorney prepare a petition for name change. These forms can usually be located at your local county court. State in the petition your existing name as well as your previous maiden name, which you are seeking to take back, and sign the petition in the presence of a notary public or before the court.

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Step 2

Sign an affidavit or other state-required information form citing that your reasons for changing your name do not include attempting to avoid prosecution for a crime, debt collectors or compliance with sex offender laws. If you have a questionable criminal history, courts may deny your petition or at the very least, require further action or documentation on your part.

Step 3

File your notarized petition, affidavit, publication notice or show cause order, if required, proposed name change decree and all required court information sheets in the court that governs name changes in your state. Pay all filing fees due.Filing fees range in various states from $21 to over $360 as of September 2011. Some courts may collect publication charges at the time of filing to cover the cost of filing the notice of name change in a local paper. Others may require that you personally request publication with the paper, pay publication charges and obtain the affidavit of proof of publication, returning it to the court prior to any scheduled hearing.

Step 4

Attend any hearing required by the court. If all of your paperwork is in order, and no one files an objection, the hearing may merely be a formality prior to the judge signing the decree changing your name. In some states, if no objection is filed, the judge may sign the decree without a hearing.

Step 5

Acquire the name change decree signed by the judge. The decree will either be given to you after the hearing, sent to your attorney or mailed to the address you provided to the court in the event you did not use an attorney to file the paperwork.

Step 6

Contact the Social Security Administration, all utility companies, credit card companies, life insurance companies, banks and other people or businesses with which you have a relationship in order to begin fully using your last name. The list of people or businesses you need to contact may seem exhaustive, but in time, your new name should be used exclusively by those whom you know and with whom you do business.

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How to Change Your Name Back to Your Maiden Name

References

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How to Change Your Legal Name in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, anyone has the right to informally change his name. Changing your name informally, however, will not be enough to have new identification documents issued in your new name. To formally change your name, you must petition for a court order. The judge will not grant your petition if he believes you are seeking to change your name for fraudulent purposes, such as avoiding debts or evading criminal prosecution. Anyone can file an objection to your name change petition.

Name Change Requirements in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, you can change your name when getting married or divorced, but you can also change your name for other reasons. If you want to change your name outside of a marriage or divorce procedure, or you want to change the name of a minor child, you’ll have to go to court and complete paperwork and notification requirements before the name change can be finalized.

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People who decide to legally change their names may do so for love, personal preference, religious beliefs or various other reasons. State laws vary, but courts often require those seeking a legal name change to publish their intentions in a local newspaper. This gives others constructive notice and an opportunity to file an objection to the proposed change with the court.

Doing the right thing has never been easier.

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