Can I Get My Maiden Name Back?
Mar 25, 2021 11:40 AM EDT
You are just about to file for divorce in Utah, and you are beginning to make plans for your new life. Unfortunately, it is hard to start a new life when people still keep calling you by your ex-husband's name.
Fortunately, there are a couple of simple ways for a divorcee to return to using the name they were born with. You can either do it during the divorce proceedings or afterward.
Filing for Divorce in Utah
In order to get a divorce in the Beehive State, either you or your spouse must have lived in your current county for at least three months. If you have a child, you must have lived in your county with your child for at least six months.
Whether the divorce is contested or you both agree to it, one of you will have to file for the divorce. The person who files the divorce is known as the petitioner, and the other person is called the respondent.
Requesting a Name Change
The person who is the petitioner will fill out and file the paperwork. You can request that your maiden name be restored at this time.
There are Salt Lake City divorce attorneys who can help you with this. The paperwork can be more complicated than you might think.
The respondent will be served with a summons. There will be a thirty-day period between the time you file the paperwork and the date the decree is issued. If you decide you want to change your name during this period, you should do it before the decree is issued.
What if I want to change my name after the divorce is final?
With all the paperwork and negotiation that goes on in a divorce, you may simply forget to fill out the petition section pertaining to a name change. You may think you are fine with keeping your married name and later decide you want to change it back. If you want your old name back, you will have to file a "Petition for Name Change" with the court.
Petitioning for a Name Change
If you want to change your name after the divorce is final, you will go to the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics or visit their website. You will fill out a form and obtain a court order for the change. People are allowed to change their names due to marriage, divorce, or gender reassignment. You can also change your name if you are simply unhappy with the one your parents gave you.
You cannot change your name to commit a crime or to hurt another person. You cannot get a new moniker to avoid paying taxes or child support. You cannot change it while you are in the middle of a lawsuit or if you are a sex offender who has been ordered not to.
You do not have to change your name back to your maiden name. You can change it to whatever you would like so long as it is not something offensive or bizarre. There are some situations in which you may have to have a hearing before a name change.
Although changing your name after a divorce may be liberating, there are some situations in which you may not want to do it. Remember, you will have to change your name on your driver's license, social security card, leases, and mortgages. If you use your married name for business, you will have to change your business cards as well. If you have established a good professional reputation under your married name, it may not be worth it.
You have to live in a county for at least a year to change your name via the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics. Hence, it is best to make your decision before the divorce is final.