After divorce, some women prefer to keep their married names, while others go back to their maiden names. While there are many personal reasons for one or the other, many women simply find it easier to keep the name they have instead of going through what most people agree can be a tedious and challenging process.
While every state is different, the initial process of legally changing reverting to a maiden name is simple in Maryland. It’s the part after-the-fact – the contacting of companies and organizations who have issued ID cards, credit cards and papers of ownership – that many people associate with the name change as the challenging part.
When severing a marital relationship, the easiest way to legally process a name change in the state of Maryland is to handle it as part of the divorce. A Maryland divorce attorney can handle the process along with the rest of the proceedings. It is something that a woman can do on her own, and something that can be done after the divorce proceedings are finalized if necessary.
For simplicity sake, however, women over the age of 18 who choose to change their names back to their maiden names during the Maryland divorce process can fill out the Change of Name form, which is referred to as Domestic Relations (DOM REL) Form 60. A copy of her birth certificate should be attached to the form. When filling out the form, the reason for change of name must be stated. The word divorce is a suitable answer to fill in the blank.
When consulting with a Maryland family attorney, it is important to discuss the issue of the name change so that it can be ordered and included in the divorce decree. Judges rarely question or deny this request. If the divorce process has already been completed and the woman has a sudden interest in reclaiming her maiden name, the decree can be amended within 30 days.
Once the divorce decree is final, she may start using her maiden name again. Where this may become sticky is changing it everywhere it has already been used. For example, extra paperwork is necessary for social security, the driver’s license and credit cards. some organizations may charge a card reissue fee, while others just require a copy of the birth certificate and divorce decree.
There are many factors for a woman to consider in changing her name. She many want to change her minor child’s name, as well. This can’t be done unless the other parent consents, and the proper paperwork must be filled out and a process completed. This process is best handled by a Maryland family attorney.