If I am recently separated and want to legally go back to my maiden name, is it possible to do before the divorce?

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If I am recently separated and want to legally go back to my maiden name, is it possible to do before the divorce?

I am a college student and am beginning to take tests for my teaching certification. I want to take all the tests in my maiden name so the situation is kind of urgent.

Asked on August 17, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you want to have a name change back to your maiden name before any decree of separation or dissolution, you could file a petition for a name change in the superior court of the county that you reside in. The process is somewhat straight forward and relatively quick to complete from beginning to end. Most likely three to four months if you move quickly with the petition.

Most states have pre-printed forms for this purpose where you check the boxes. There is typically notice that must be published in a newspaper for so many consecutive weeks. The final result is a court order changing your name filed in your case.

To possibly save some money (and time) if you have filed a petition for separation or dissolution in the superior court of the county that you live in, you might be able to file a motion in the same case for a name change sooner rather than later.


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