How to Get a Name Change After a Divorce in Maryland

By Mike Bell
Maryland law, a woman, her maiden name, a divorce

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A woman has the right to restore her maiden name after a divorce in Maryland, thanks to rulings by the Maryland Court of Appeals (Stuart v. Board of Supervisors of Elections, 1972; Klein v. Klein, 1977). A judge can only deny your request to revert to your maiden name if the change is in some way illegal. Even if you forget to file the paperwork during the divorce proceedings, Maryland lets you just go back to using your old name.

Fill out Maryland's two-page Petition for Change of Name (form "DOM REL 60," see link in the Reference section below). Fill in your married name as well as your maiden name. Attach a copy of your birth certificate. For Question 4 regarding your reasoning, simply put "divorce."

File your name change petition as part of your divorce paperwork. If you have already filed for divorce, it is usually possible to amend the filing within 30 days.

Start using your maiden name again. Maryland law stipulates that you're allowed to return to your maiden name even if you don't file for an official name change as part of your divorce paperwork. Just use your maiden name regularly and be sure to change your personal records such as license and social security card.

About the Author

Mike Bell has been writing professionally since 2006. He wrote for and edited the "Independent Florida Alligator," and has also contributed to the "St. Petersburg Times," "Orlando Sentinel" and "Miami Herald." With a Bachelor of Science in journalism, Bell is now a student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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