How to Change Your Name Back to Your Maiden Name

By Marie Murdock

You may decide at some point to revert to your maiden name due to divorce, the death of your husband or other personal reasons, such as beginning a business venture in your prior name. Depending on your circumstances, there are a couple of ways to accomplish the change through the courts so that it becomes legally documented by decree.

Divorce Decree

Step 1

Add, or have your attorney add, a request to resume your maiden name in your complaint for divorce if this is your reason for changing and your state law allows this method of change. State your full name after the change in your request.

Step 2

Include, or have your attorney include, a statement in the proposed decree to be signed by the judge in an uncontested divorce stating that you are “…hereby returned to her maiden name of…” and include the name, provided your state authorizes this method of change. If the divorce is contested, make sure your attorney reviews any proposed decree prepared by the opposing attorney for inclusion of the request.

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Step 3

Obtain the signed divorce decree from your attorney or the courts. Use the signed and sealed decree to prove your name change when you subsequently change your name with the Social Security Administration, your bank and so on.

Name Change Decree

Step 1

Prepare and sign a petition for name change or contact an attorney for assistance if you are uncomfortable with the process. Name-change forms are available on many state websites and may vary from state to state. Generally, you must state your old name, your new name and declare in your petition whether you have criminal charges pending against you, whether you are registered sex offender, and that you are not changing your name in an attempt to avoid payment of debts.

Step 2

Prepare and sign any additional paperwork required by your state, such as a publication notice or a show-cause order. State in your publication notice your old name, your new name and the reasons for your request. The statutory time during which parties may object to the change may vary from state to state,

Step 3

Prepare a decree for your judge’s signature and attach it to your remaining paperwork. Contact an attorney for assistance in preparing the decree if your state does not provide forms.

Step 4

File all paperwork with the court and pay any required fees. If all paperwork is in order and there are no objections, the court may grant your petition without a hearing. If a hearing is required, attend the hearing.

Step 5

Obtain the signed decree. Use the signed and sealed decree to prove your name change when you subsequently change your name with the Social Security Administration, your bank and so on.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Change Your Last Name Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce
 

References

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State of Oregon Divorce Decree

In Oregon, a divorce decree — also called a judgment of dissolution of marriage — is the court order that both terminates your marriage and provides details of your separation from your spouse. While it is possible to obtain a divorce decree in Oregon without hiring an attorney, you may wish to consult with one about your specific situation.

How do I Change a Child's Name on Vital Records in Georgia?

Vital records include items such as birth, death and marriage certificates. For children, the most significant — and typically the only — vital record is the birth certificate, and this certificate is important for establishing identity. There are several reasons why a parent might want to change his child's name on her birth certificate. An error on the certificate and newly established paternity are common reasons for changing the name on a child's vital records, and these name changes are typically simple. Other reasons for a name change can be more complicated.

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