Name Change

My spouse and I will be officially separated on May 7. Do I have to wait until the divorce is final to change my name back or can I do it as soon as possible?

I am not an attorney

I was informed that you may not change your last name until the divorce is final. And, if you don’t ask for the right to go back to your maiden name, you keep the married name.

So, I made sure I asked for it in the divorce, and triple-checked to make sure it was in the final decree.

I just got my papers in my hand this past Saturday, and have already been to Social Security, changed my account at the bank, changed all of my utilities, ordered new checks, and have an appointment to change my driver’s license ASAP.


The fastest way to change your name based on these facts is to request to revert to your maiden name as part of the divorce.

I have a question. I failed to put on the original complaint that I wanted to go back to my maiden name. Can I add that on the Judgement as a separate line item? If so what terminology should I use?

While you can amend your Complaint to do this, it will tack on an additional 30 days until you can obtain a divorce. It will be simpler for you to just let the divorce happen with the Complaint as-is, and then file with the clerk. You can resume your maiden name by going to the clerk, either where you live or where the divorce was filed, and pay a $10 fine. That will be the best option for you at this point.