Many spouses decide to take their significant other's last name as their own after a wedding. When the couple divorces, especially after years of marriage, the spouse who took on a married last name can decide to keep the name or change it. Fortunately, there is no legal impediment to changing back to the use of a maiden name.
A spouse may want to retain a married name for various reasons, including a desire to share a last name with the couple’s children or because the spouse has built a career and reputation under the married name. Whatever the reason, the spouse is not required to provide a reason or to prove it to be true in order to go back to using a maiden name after a divorce.
In a divorce decree, known as the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, the spouse who took on a married name can be given the opportunity to change back to the maiden name without having to do much more. Usually, the ability to resume the use of a maiden name is included in the decree at the request of the spouse who may need to change back to the maiden name. This way, the name change is legally authorized.
When the name change is not authorized under the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, the spouse wishing to resume the use of a maiden name must go through a different legal process in order to be authorized to change her name. This process is expensive, long, and requires taking more steps than simply asking a court for the use of a maiden name in the divorce petition. For this reason, it is better to ensure that the authority to resume the use of a maiden name is granted as part of the divorce, even if the spouse has no immediate plans to resume her maiden name.
One spouse does not have a say in the other spouse’s decision to change back to using a maiden name. However, the spouses can negotiate about it; for example, if a husband wants his wife to give up the married name after a divorce for some reason, he can offer to give up something in the divorce negotiation in exchange for the wife resuming the use of her maiden name.
If a person resumes a maiden name, she has to remember to change her name on all official and professional documents as soon as possible. This includes applying for a new social security card, driver’s license, and passport.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, and you are not sure what steps to take first or what the process will be, you should contact our compassionate DuPage County divorce attorney at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC for a consultation today.