Can I change back to my maiden name without a divorce?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I change back to my maiden name without a divorce?

I have been separated from my husband for over 10 years. We could not afford a divorce and have been raising our son as a divorced couple. Our son will be 18 soon and we will file then. I would like to go back to using my maiden name, can I do so without a divorce being filed?

Asked on August 24, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, adults can change their names at will--it's a matter  of filing out the correct paperwork, but nothing more. There is no requirement for a change in life or marital status. If you do a Google (or equivalent search) for "name change florida" or a similar search phrase, you'll be able to find forms and directions. Remember that there a great many complexities to this: you have to think about bank accounts, insurance policies, other benefits, paychecks or direct deposit, driver's licenses, credit cards, etc. If you remember all the people and businesses you had to notify when you took your husband's name and all the hoops you had to jump through, it will be like, but possibly worse-while you *can* legally change your name without divorce, people won't expect you to, so you'll probably have  extra explaining to do.

 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most states follow what is known as the "common law" rule that you can use any name you want as long it is used continuously without "intent to defraud."  So theoretically you can start using your maiden name again as long as you do so on a regular and consistent basis and without intending to avoid creditors or for some other fraudulent reason. Many states allow a Woman to legally use either name during the course of their marriage.  I am not sure if Florida is one of those states but I would say yes you can and then when the divorce is final it will be finally done.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption