Should I Resume My Maiden Name?
As part of a divorce action, the Court will allow a spouse or partner in a civil union to resume any name used prior to the marriage or civil union. In fact, New Jersey Courts have held that a divorced woman is entitled to resume her maiden name at any time following the entry of the judgment of divorce. The Court hears both matters (the divorce and name change) on the same day, taking testimony on the reasons for the divorce and the name change as part of the same hearing. The Court will want to know that the request to resume a maiden name is not being done with the intent to avoid creditors or obstruct criminal prosecution. Depending on the county in which the divorce is granted, you will either receive a separate order permitting you to resume your maiden name or it will be included in the judgment of divorce. In the post-COVID 19 world, where many counties are granting divorces “on the papers,” parties each submit affidavits attesting to the reasonableness of their agreement and asking the Court to enter a divorce decree without even appearing in Court. In those cases, a spouse seeking to resume their maiden name will provide an affidavit to the Court indicating their request to resume their made name is being made in good faith.
Clearly, the decision to resume a name used prior to marriage or civil union is a personal decision. Some litigants hesitate to do so as part of the divorce action because they have established themselves professionally under their married name. Others prefer to match the last names of their children. It is the prerogative of the litigant to make this decision. You also cannot be compelled by your ex-spouse to resume your maiden name. Recognizing it is a personal decision, the Court will allow a litigant to ask for the name change at any point before the divorce is finalized. Should a litigant decide to resume their maiden name after the divorce has been granted, a motion can be filed after the divorce asking the Court’s permission to resume any game used prior to marriage or civil union.
Passaic County Divorce Attorney
Maria A. Giammona Law has been providing caring and compassionate representation for family law matters in Totowa, Wayne, Paterson and throughout Passaic County for over twenty years. With our guidance, you’ll be able to resume your maiden name as part of the divorce process. We’ll patiently look at every aspect of your situation and help you determine the best strategy for your family. We invite you to call us at 973-737-1637 to schedule a free consultation.