Frequently clients ask if they can change their name back to their maiden name or even that of a previous marriage when they get divorced. The short answer is most likely yes. Under the Family Law article of the Maryland Code §7-105, if you are seeking a divorce you may change your name back to either your name given at birth or any previous former name as long as 1) the party took the name on in marriage and no longer wants to use it; 2) the party asks for the name change; and 3) the purpose of the name change is not for illegal, fraudulent or immoral purposes. This means that the name you are changing must have been taken on by the marriage you now seek to dissolve. Further, you (or your lawyer) must ask the court to change your name in your Complaint for Absolute Divorce – which is the document that initiates the divorce action. And finally, you must certify to the court, usually through your testimony, that your reason for changing your name is not for purposes of committing an illegal act, or fraud, or for immoral purposes. Although changing one’s name during a divorce is relatively uncomplicated, it is often one aspect of the divorce that carries a lot of emotional baggage.
For more information on changing your name at the time of your divorce, contact a qualified family law attorney. If you need help finding one, the local county bar association can assist you.