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The empowering effects of a name change when divorcing

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2024 | Divorce |

When going through a divorce in Maryland, many people see it as an opportunity for a fresh start. That may include taking back their pre-marriage identity.

For some, reverting to their familiar family surname can do much to help them cope better with a challenging divorce. Here is some guidance about the legalities of a name change during or after a Maryland divorce.

Can you revert to your surname during your divorce?

Yes, you may ask the court to restore your former name during a divorce in Maryland. This is usually the simplest and most efficient way if already involved in divorce proceedings.

However, you cannot choose a new name during the divorce. You may only revert to your former name. If you decide to wait, you can still file a separate motion for up to 18 months after your divorce is finalized.

If you take your name back, remember to amend your documents and accounts, such as:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Social Security card
  • Financial accounts

Each institution has its own process for updating information, so be prepared to provide proof of the name change.

Why do people change their names?

It is not just symbolic but offers tangible benefits. For example, it reflects autonomy, empowering you to define your future. It also defines you individually, further distancing you from your spouse. This act of transformation allows you to close one chapter and confidently step into the next.

Every divorce journey is both unique and complex. If changing your name helps you feel good about your post-divorce future, it’s wise to have legal guidance.

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