How can I fix my marriage certificate to reflect my correct legal name?

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011

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How can I fix my marriage certificate to reflect my correct legal name?

I was married 19 years ago using a fictitious last name. I have not used the fictitious name for about 10 years but my wife’s last name reflects that name. We have been living together since then. I need to fix this. What is the best approach? Annul the previous marriage, and then remarry with my real name? Or divorce from the previous marriage, and then remarry with my real name? Or some other legal method to change the names attached to the marriage, such as amending the certificate)?

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Family Law, Connecticut


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am unsure what you mean by the use of a fictitious name but if you mean that you lied on the application, produced a fake identification and did not tell the person you married, you have an issue in terms of whether this is a legal marriage or recognized as a legal marriage in your state of Connecticut. If you wish for your wife to have your real name, discuss the matter with a family law attorney and see if this is something you need to address in a court of law first. You see, the issue is much more than simply changing a marriage certificate and I am unsure if after 19 years (assuming your wife knows of your fictitious name) an annulment would work. Talk to a family law attorney in order to determine for tax, support and other reasons it would be better to attempt a change or amendment to the certificate, renewing vows or simply going through court to indicate the first marriage was legal but that the certificate needs to be amended.

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