Does the State of Florida Allow You to Take Back Your Maiden Name in a Divorce Decree?
By Michael Butler
In Florida, you can have your maiden name restored in a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, which is what a divorce decree is called in the state. You must ask the judge to include the request in the document. Once the judge grants your request, you will need to inform other institutions about the change.
Florida has forms judges use in granting divorces. On these forms, the judge must check either "yes" or "no" to indicate whether the wife wants a former name restored. If the answer is yes, the judge writes the new, full legal name in the order. Spell your maiden name clearly and correctly for the judge, to make sure he gets it right.
After a Florida judge grants your name change request in the divorce, you need to let the Social Security Administration know as soon as possible. Complete an application for a new Social Security card and attach a certified copy of the divorce decree. You will need identification with your pre-divorce name to prove you are who you say you are. Finally, provide a birth certificate, passport or other official document to prove you are a United States citizen.
You need to let other institutions and agencies you deal with know your legal name has changed. For example, you will want to change your name on your driver's license and bank accounts. Every agency or business will have their own procedure to follow. In general, you will need to show them a copy of your divorce decree or new Social Security card.
If you didn't want to change back to your maiden name at the time of your divorce but later change your mind, you need to file a separate petition for a name change. Rather than attaching your divorce decree to this document, attach your marriage certificate. You must have your petition notarized. File it with the clerk of the circuit court in your county. The judge may require you to attend a hearing before granting your request.
A professional writer, Michael Butler has been writing Web content since 2010. Butler brings expertise in legal and computer issues to his how-to articles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Washburn University. Butler also has a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.