Does the State of Florida Allow You to Take Back Your Maiden Name in a Divorce Decree?

By Michael Butler

In Florida, you can have your maiden name restored in a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, which is what a divorce decree is called in the state. You must ask the judge to include the request in the document. Once the judge grants your request, you will need to inform other institutions about the change.


Florida has forms judges use in granting divorces. On these forms, the judge must check either "yes" or "no" to indicate whether the wife wants a former name restored. If the answer is yes, the judge writes the new, full legal name in the order. Spell your maiden name clearly and correctly for the judge, to make sure he gets it right.

Social Security

After a Florida judge grants your name change request in the divorce, you need to let the Social Security Administration know as soon as possible. Complete an application for a new Social Security card and attach a certified copy of the divorce decree. You will need identification with your pre-divorce name to prove you are who you say you are. Finally, provide a birth certificate, passport or other official document to prove you are a United States citizen.

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Other Institutions

You need to let other institutions and agencies you deal with know your legal name has changed. For example, you will want to change your name on your driver's license and bank accounts. Every agency or business will have their own procedure to follow. In general, you will need to show them a copy of your divorce decree or new Social Security card.

Post Divorce

If you didn't want to change back to your maiden name at the time of your divorce but later change your mind, you need to file a separate petition for a name change. Rather than attaching your divorce decree to this document, attach your marriage certificate. You must have your petition notarized. File it with the clerk of the circuit court in your county. The judge may require you to attend a hearing before granting your request.

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Unlike a divorce certificate, a divorce decree has more detailed information regarding the terms of your divorce, such as property settlements and child custody arrangements. You can get a certified copy of your decree from the issuing Wisconsin court. The certified decree contains the court's official stamp, indicating the decree matches the papers the court has on file for your case. You'll have to visit the court in person to obtain your certified divorce decree.

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