Name Change Post-Divorce Gets Easier in Maryland

An adult can request a name change at any time, but name changes for women who just got divorced and who wish to resume the use of their maiden names just got a little easier.

Upon divorce, some women prefer to resume use of their maiden name, or another former name. In Maryland, the law has long allowed the Court to restore a former name to a woman at the time of divorce, in the divorce decree. However, many women do not decide until after divorce that they want to resume use of their previous names. Maryland used to require people who want a name change post-divorce to open a new case. Maryland’s new law permits the Court to approve a name change to a former name when a woman files a motion in her divorce case within 18 months after entry of the divorce decree.

A party requesting to resume a former name, upon or within 18 months following divorce, must also meet three criteria:

  1.  the party took a new name on marriage and no longer wishes to use it;
  2.  the party asks for the name change; and
  3.  the purpose for the request is not illegal, fraudulent or immoral.
    Ann. Code Md., Fam. Law § 7-105.

Erin Kopelman is a divorce attorney who handles cases involving domestic relations and family law, including custody and visitation. To discuss obtaining or defending against the rights of third parties in custody cases, contact Erin at 301-347-1261 or [email protected].