Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can you keep your married name after a divorce?

Reading Massachusetts Divorce and Wills Lawyer Blog's Name Change During a Divorce and I thought how this applies to Indiana:

Many women assume their husband’s last name when they get married. As a result, when they get divorced from their husbands, most want to change it back to their maiden name. There are two options: you can either change it back to a maiden (or any other name) or you could keep your soon-to-be-ex husband’s name. Contrary to what some people might say, you’re not required to give up your ex-husband’s last name.
I have not written explicitly about this subject on this blog. Nothing in the quote above does not apply to Indiana. So far, so good there.

What if the husband wants the wife's name changed? No luck. Indiana law leaves that choice to the woman:
IC 31-15-2-18
Name change of woman
A woman who desires the restoration of her maiden or previous married name must set out the name she desires to be restored to her in her petition for dissolution as part of the relief sought. The court shall grant the name change upon entering the decree of dissolution.

What if the woman wants her name restored but is not the one filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?

My only suggestion is that she file a counter-petition. See IC 31-15-2-9.

What if the woman keeps her married name and then changes her mind?

The woman will get no help if the Decree of Dissolution has been signed off on by the judge. However, Indiana has a legal action for change of name. See my article Changing your mind about not changing your name? and IC 34-28-2.

Do I handle change of name cases?

Yes, I do.

1 comment:

California Divorce Lawyer said...

Many people are unaware that they can keep their married names after a divorce. Good point to bring up.