How to Change Your Last Name Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce

By Mike Broemmel
your last name, your maiden name, a series, steps

gavel image by Cora Reed from Fotolia.com

If you are preparing to divorce your husband, you may wonder how to change your last name back to your maiden name at the conclusion of your case. A process employed within a divorce case itself permits you to change your last name back to your maiden name at the conclusion of the divorce case. To change back to your maiden name after divorce, you will need to follow certain procedures from the start of the divorce case.

Draft and file a petition for divorce (if you are the spouse initiating the case). Include a specific provision in the divorce petition setting forth your desire to restore your maiden name when the divorce is granted. Such a provision reads:

"The undersigned requests that this honorable court restore her maiden name in the decree of divorce entered in this case."

Completing this step makes changing your last name back to your maiden name easier.

Respond to a petition filed by your spouse by preparing what is known as an answer. Within the answer, include a provision requesting that the court restore your maiden name in the final decree of divorce.

Write a settlement agreement (if you and your spouse are able to negotiate the issues of your case). In the settlement agreement insert a clause along the lines of: "The parties agree that wife's maiden name will be restored to her." File the settlement agreement with the court.

Attend the final hearing in your divorce case. If you entered into a settlement agreement, advise the judge that you want a restoration of your maiden name. If these is no settlement agreement and the court dealt with resolving issues in your case, request the court change your last name back to your maiden name in the final divorce decree.

File a motion to amend the divorce decree if you did not seek a restoration of your maiden name during the course of the case. Most family law or divorce courts will allow the divorce decree to be modified if a request is made to do so within approximately 60 days of the end of the proceedings. If you decide you want to change your last name back to your middle name after your divorce decree is final, be sure to do so before the modification period is up.

File a petition in family or probate court (depending on the specific laws in your state) seeking a name change if you did not restore your maiden name in your divorce case. Sometimes a woman initially elects to keep her married name during the divorce proceedings and changes her mind at a later date. If that occurs, a name change case is initiated.

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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