How do I legally change my name back to my maiden name after divorce?

By Lauren Williams

Each state has a legal process for undergoing a name change. This requires that a legal action to change your name be filed with the court and it can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Luckily, marriage and divorce are exceptions to that process.

If a wife wants to take her husband’s name upon marriage it should be shown on their marriage license or certificate, depending on the state. This is important because you will generally need a document showing the name change in order change or renew your drivers license, passport and other identifying documents.

When divorcing your must specify that you are changing your name back to your maiden name at the time of divorce and it must be shown in the court order granting your divorce. Your attorney can guide you through this part of the process in your state. If the final court order does not show that you have elected to change your name, you may be unable to change your driver’s license and other documents. This is because, if it is not in the court order, you will have no official record of the change. If you fail to change your name at the time of divorce you may need to then go through the normal name change process in your state, which will be much more time consuming and costly.

Lauren Williams

About The Author

Lauren Williams is a legal writer for and the USA Law Network.