One of the most surprising questions my clients are faced with when I handle their divorce is whether or not they would like to change their name. Of course, this question and change is only applicable to those who changed their name upon getting married. I have found that it is simply not something that has crossed the minds of most of my clients.
Under the family law statute, a court can change the name of a party in an absolute divorce action to either the name given to the person at birth, or any other former name the person previously held that they wish to be returned to. (See Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 7-105.)
Name Changing After Divorce vs. During
If you want to change your name after you are divorced, back to your maiden name for example, it is important to ask the court to do so in the Complaint for Divorce you file. Asking the court to change your name in your divorce matter won’t cost you any additional money. However, if you do not ask the court to change your name during the divorce proceeding, and you wait until after you are already divorced, you will have to file a Change of Name Request, pay the applicable fees with said request, and follow the appropriate procedures before your name will be changed.
I suggest that anyone seeking an absolute divorce give some thought as to the identity you want to have after your divorce, including what name you would like to be referred by. It isn’t an easy decision to make, but it is one that should be given some thought.
Legal Assistance Changing Your Name After Marriage
If you are going through a divorce and seek legal representation in Maryland, the divorce attorneys at Andalman & Flynn can help. We can represent you on all matters of your divorce, including changing your name after marriage, and any subsequent matters arising from your divorce—like custody or child support. Of course, we recommend name changing during divorce as opposed to after but if you’ve already completed your claim, we can assist you through the process of changing your name after divorce as well.
To contact me directly, please call 301-244-4524 or email me at [email protected].