Are we considered legally divorced after 13 years of separation?

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Are we considered legally divorced after 13 years of separation?

No separation papers were ever signed. Can I legally get my maiden name back?

Asked on April 14, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No.  A marraige doesn't simply disappear because it is ignored.  ONly a judge's decree of divorce or dissolution will end the marriage.  New York has now joined the rest of the country in allowing no-fault divorces, so the process is much easier.  One of the stipulations in the divorce will be that you can resume use of your maiden name.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortuantely you are not.  You are in fct considered to be legally married for the last 13 years.  You need to file for divorce or dissolution of the marriage and you need to make sure that you filed other legal papers properly in the last 13 years ( like txes, etc.).  You can surely take your maiden name back when you get divorced and that should be part of the language in the paperwork.  Good luck.


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