What if I Didn't Request a Name Change in Divorce Papers in Maryland?
By Elizabeth Stock
In a divorce, you may want to change your last name back to your maiden name. However, if you forgot to request a name change in your divorce papers, or you simply changed your mind after your divorce became final, you can still request a name change in Maryland. You must complete the appropriate form and receive a court order for the name change to be recognized legally.
Requesting a Name Change During Divorce
The easiest way to have your name changed is to request the name change as part of your divorce filings. However, whether you request a name change during the divorce proceeding or after, you must complete and file Domestic Relations Form 60, Petition for Name Change. If you file the form during your divorce, file the form with either your divorce complaint or answer pleadings. In addition, you can file the form after your divorce is final and request a name change by filing the form along with a copy of your divorce judgment.
Completing Form DR60
To complete Form DR60, Petition for Change of Name, you will be asked to provide basic information about yourself including your current name and the reasons why your name has been changed from your original birth name. You will also provide your birthdate and birthplace.The form also requests that you attach a copy of your birth certificate to the form. To complete Form DR60, sign the bottom using your current name.
Submitting the Form to the Court
File Form DR60 in your county of residence with the circuit court clerk's office. This may be a different county than the one in which you obtained your divorce. You will need to pay a filing fee when you submit the form, so contact the court clerk to determine the fee for your county.
After you file the request for name change with the circuit court, you must fulfill a notice requirement by publishing the request in a widely circulated newspaper. Whether you or the court is responsible for ensuring publication varies by county, so ask the circuit court clerk whether you must arrange for publication and any fees associated with publication. Anyone who opposes your name change may submit an objection to the name request and a hearing will be held to address the objection.
Using Maiden Name Without Court Order
You also have the option of reverting to your maiden name after the divorce without legally changing your name. You can do this by simply using your maiden name again when completing applications for new accounts. However, many entities may want to see proof of the legality of your name change before they will recognize the name. In addition, the Social Security Administration and Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles will want to see a court-issued order before they provide you with new identification.
- Montgomery County Circuit Court, Family Department: General Information
- Maryland Judiciary, Department of Family Administration: Petition for Name Change
- Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration: Maryland Identification Card
- Maryland Judiciary: Instructions for Change of Name of an Adult
Elizabeth Stock began writing professionally in 2010. Before pursuing a career as a freelance writer, Stock was an editor and note writer for the "Thomas Jefferson Law Review" while attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Stock recently graduated magna cum laude from Thomas Jefferson earning a Juris Doctor.