Tennessee Laws on Regaining Maiden Name After Divorce

By Timothy Mucciante

Taking back your maiden name after a Tennessee divorce is a straightforward matter, and many women include the request in the divorce complaint. If your husband files the divorce, you can request the name change in your answer to the divorce complaint. Restoring your maiden name is a legal and emotional decision. You are not required to change your name after a divorce. If you have children, you may choose to keep your ex-husband's last name as changing your last name will not affect your children's last name. Your ex-husband cannot force you to restore your maiden name.

Name Change Request

Your request for restoration of your maiden name in the divorce complaint can be very brief. For example: "It is requested that plaintiff be restored to her maiden name of Smith." When the judge issues the divorce decree, it will have similar language: "It is hereby ordered that the plaintiff's maiden name of Smith be restored." In Tennessee, post-judgment changes to your divorce decree are possible if you forget to request the name change, or if the judge inadvertently omits it from the final divorce decree.

Making It Official

To change your driver's license after restoration of your maiden name, you must take an original or a copy of the divorce decree, with either the judge's original signature or official court seal, to a Tennessee Driver Service Center. This change must be made in person. You can find the Driver Service Center locations on the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security website. To change your name with Social Security, you must complete an Application for Social Security Card (Form SS-5). The divorce decree or court ordered name change must accompany Form SS-5.

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

Post-Divorce Name Change

You can file a petition with the clerk of the county where you live to have your name changed, if you did not do it during the divorce. Each county in Tennessee handles name changes a little differently. For example, Rutherford County requires you be represented by an attorney for a name change. The attorney will prepare the petition and order for the name change. He will then make an appointment with a General Sessions judge for your petition to be heard. In Shelby County, an attorney is not required to file the name change request. An online legal document provider can be helpful if you need assistance with a post-divorce name change.

Minor Child Name Change

Although you can request restoration of your maiden name in a final divorce decree, the judge cannot change the last name of a child born to the marriage at this time. If you would like to petition for your child's last name to be changed, you must use the regular name change procedure. In Shelby County, if you are seeking to change the name of a minor child, both parents listed on the birth certificate must be present and consent to a name change. A notarized affidavit of consent from one parent will suffice, if that parent cannot be present.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Make a Legal Name Change in West Virginia



Related articles

Legal Name Changes in Texas After a Divorce

If you changed your name when you married, you get to choose whether or not you want to change your name back when you divorce. Though this process is typically completed during the divorce, Texas also allows you to change your name outside the divorce process. Thus, if you don't change your name, but reconsider after your divorce and decide that you do want to change your name, you can follow the court process to change it.

How to Get Divorce Records From Conroe Texas Online

The city of Conroe, Texas is located in Montgomery County. There are two types of divorce records for divorce proceedings that occur in Montgomery County: a divorce decree and a divorce certificate. A divorce decree is a legal instrument prepared by the Montgomery County District Court which finalizes and sets forth the terms and conditions of the divorce, including division of marital property, child custody, child support and alimony. A Montgomery County divorce decree cannot be obtained online. A divorce certificate, also called a divorce verification letter, is a document issued by the Texas State Department of Health which states whether or not a divorce has been recorded with the State of Texas since 1968 and if so, provides the names of the husband and wife, date and place the divorce was finalized. A Montgomery County divorce certificate can be obtained online.

How to Legally Change a Name in Tennessee

In Tennessee, it is a fairly uncomplicated process to legally change your name. If you prefer a name other than the one you were born with, you can apply to your local county clerk for a name change. The Tennessee Code outlines the rules for name changes in the state.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Legally Change Your Name in Arizona?

In Arizona it is a fairly simple process to change your name. If you do not like the name you were born with, or you ...

How to Change Your Last Name in Tennessee

You can change your name in Tennessee if you're at least 18 and the new name doesn't hinder public interest. Some ...

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 ...

Laws Regarding Children's Names After a Divorce in Oregon

After a divorce, you may want to change your child's name. In Oregon, the procedure for changing a child's name can be ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED