You don't have to change your name when you get married in Ohio, but if you do, it becomes your legal name. If you get divorced, you are allowed to change your name back to your maiden name. In fact, you are allowed to use your maiden name – or any other name you wish – simply by assuming that name. However, a court process is required to make it your legal name.
Changing Your Maiden Name Options
You have two options for changing a name after divorce in Ohio. You can do it formally through a court application or simply revert to your maiden name. If you are going through divorce proceedings in Ohio, the simplest way to change your legal name back to your maiden name may be to include your name change application with your divorce petition. Under Ohio law, the divorce court must approve your name change if you apply for the change at the time of your divorce.
Formal Name Change
You can apply for an adult name change for yourself or a minor name change for your minor child in the probate court in the county in which you live. Get the application for name change form from your court office or website, complete it and pay the filing fee. If a minor is involved, a certified copy of the child's birth certificate is required with the application. The court will set a hearing date and publish the application in an approved local newspaper 30 days before that date.
You must attend the hearing with photographic ID and testify about your reasons for changing your name. The court will enter a formal judgment changing your name, which you can then use as official proof of your name change. Your local probate court may require the name change application to be e-filed. Check with the court clerk's office for any specific filing requirements. The cost of a formal name change varies by county, but is normally about $150 to $250, including the publication fee.
Reverting to Your Maiden Name
You can change your name at any time by simply using your chosen new name and making the change known. However, this must be done with honest motives and not in order to commit fraud, such as by avoiding creditors. An informal name change is permissable in Ohio, but it can cause practical problems because many banks and other organizations require a court order to prove a name change. A Social Security name change in Ohio requires a divorce decree or court order, as well as proof of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship.
Read More: How to Change Your Last Name Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce
- Franklin County Probate Court: Name Change e-Filing Instructions
- Montgomery County: Name Change Application Information for Adult
- Montgomery County: Name Change Application Information for Minor Child
- Franklin County Probate Court: Name Change
- Ohio Laws and Rules: 2717.01 Application to Change Name of Person - Notice
- Ohio Laws and Rules: 3105.01 Divorce Causes
- Social Security Administration: Application for a Social Security Card
Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.