can i request that my wife restore her maiden name?

My wife is currently hyphenating her maiden name and my last name. She is a
drunk and I don’t want that imbarassment attached to my family’s name. We have no
kids together. We live in a small town in CA.

Asked on May 13, 2016 under Family Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in this case, you have no legal right to compel your ex-wife to restore her maiden name. In fact, any adult can use whatever name they choose as long as it was legally changed (such as when your ex married you).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can *ask*--anyone can always ask--but you have no legal power to require her to restore her maiden name. Any adult can have any legal name they choose, so long as they properly changed it (e.g. when married); and even if it's not their legal name, any adult is generally free to use any name she wants and to ask people to call her by that name.

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