Can my ex-wife and my son use 2 last names?

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Can my ex-wife and my son use 2 last names?

My ex-wife kept my last name, so legally her last name is my last name right? If this is true, can she use her maiden name on her DL, job corps (schooling) and Medicaid for my son. And then turn around and use my last name to me? My son got his last name changed to mine 3 years ago. What if they are still to this day use my ex wife’s maiden name for health insurance, doctor’s records and such. Can they get in trouble? FYI: I’m working on a custody battle with her. I am trying for my son.

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

Patricia F. Bushman / Bushman & DuBose, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If she changed her name at the marriage, and didn't change it at the divorce, then her last name is the same as yours.  If your son's last name is legally yours, that is the name he should now use.  His birthcertificate should be changed, as should social security.  This can be done with the proper forms and certified copies of the name change Order.  There is usually a small fee.  If she is using different names for herself, a case could be made she is trying to defraud someone.  If she hasn't changed your son's name, she is trying to yank your chain, and you should use it during the custody suit.  Good luck.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Married women sometimes have to go by two last names until everything is converted.  Some records will still appear in her maiden name because that's the name on her social security card and the Social Security Admin won't change it.  This means that for some government programs, she must file under the name that's on the social, even though she uses the married name for all other purposes.  If this is the case, then no, it's not illegal.  Because your son's current name is different than the name on his social, he will experience the same type of issues.  Using two names is only illegal if you are doing so to defraud someone, like the federal government or a creditor.


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