Divorce can often prompt the parties involved to think about their new identities, as single persons. Part of that process may be deciding to resume the use of a former, or maiden, name. While a “maiden name” is generally used to refer to a woman’s family name, it may be a man who used a hyphenated combination, which is ready to move on with shedding the married name.
Name change after divorce varies from state to state and can end up being costly. In Maryland, a party requesting to resume a former name my do so within 18 months following divorce, if they meeting the following criteria:
- They took a new name on marriage and no longer wishes to use it;
- They ask for the name change; and
- The purpose of the request is not illegal, fraudulent or immoral.
Ann. Code Md., Fam. Law § 7-105
If you fail to make the request to change your name within 18 months, you would be required to file a separate Petition for a Name Change. This process is more cumbersome and expensive then changing your name incident to a divorce. Therefore, it is important to make a decision as soon as possible if you wish to restore your former name upon your divorce.
Once the Decree of Divorce is issued and you have been restored to your former name, you will need to show a copy of your Judgment of Absolute Divorce to change your name on all important documents, identification papers, and financial accounts.
Ultimately, making the choice to change your last name after a divorce is a personal preference. Jacobson Family Law will guide you through this process if changing your name is something you are interested in during your divorce. Contact Jacobson Family Law at 443-741-1147 or schedule an appointment.