Resuming Use of Maiden Name Without Divorce

By Marie Murdock

A woman often resumes the use of her maiden name after a divorce. However, you may choose to reacquire your maiden name while still married. For example, if you were to inherit a business in your family surname or start a career separate and distinct from your husband’s, you might want to reacquire your former name. Alternatively, you may have become widowed after a brief marriage and would prefer to resume the name you acquired at birth. The process for resuming your maiden name varies by state.

Still Married

If you are still married and residing with your husband, you can change your name with a name change decree. The name change process begins with filing a petition for name change with the appropriate court in your state. In many states, name changes are within the jurisdiction of the probate court. In some states, however, petitions are filed in the circuit or superior courts. Some state laws require a court hearing and public notice of your petition in a local newspaper. Other states may award the name change decree based strictly on the facts contained in the petition, background checks, affidavit or other required documentation. State law may prohibit your request if you have felony charges pending or are changing your name in an attempt to avoid creditors or for other fraudulent purposes.

After Husband’s Death

If you wish to reacquire your maiden name after the death of your husband, many states require you to follow the typical name change procedure. In North Carolina, however, state statute provides for a widow to resume her maiden name by simply filing an application with the court stating the full name of her deceased spouse and attaching a copy of his death certificate.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Usage

Some states allow name change by usage. With this method, you would begin using a desired name and continuously identify yourself by that name so that, in time, you become known to all those surrounding you and those with whom you transact business by your new name. As identity theft increases, this name change method has become more difficult to achieve as government and other business entities require identification to complete certain transactions. If you are recently married and have not yet formally changed your legal records, such as identification, from your maiden name, you should have little problem resuming its use without further documentation.

Documenting Change

Provide certified copies of the court decree or document changing your name to the Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, voting registrar, financial institutions and others with whom you transact business. Be aware, however, that these entities may refuse to change your name in their records if you are unable to provide documentary proof as to your current identity, as would be the case with the usage method of name change.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Name Change Requirements in the State of Illinois

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Change Your Name Back to Your Maiden Name

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.

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

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.

The Law for Resuming Your Maiden Name in Ohio

In Ohio, you do not have to change your name when you marry, but if you do change it, the married name becomes your legal name. Ohio law allows you to change your name back at the time of your divorce or by using Ohio’s standard name change process, which includes formally changing your name in court or simply assuming a new name.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Easiest Way to Change Your Name

There are many reasons you might want to change your name. Whether your decision is for personal or business reasons, ...

How to Change Your Last Name Without the Court

Whatever your reasons for changing your last name, state laws offer several ways for you to do it. Often people want to ...

Divorce Laws in Louisiana Regarding Name Changes

Although many spouses decide to change their names when getting married, Louisiana does not require anyone to do so. ...

How to Return to a Maiden Name After the Death of a Spouse

After the grieving process is complete, a widow may decide to re-quire her maiden name. This may be especially true if ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED