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When a woman marries, she traditionally takes on her husband's last name as her own. However, when a marriage ends in divorce, the wife has the option of keeping her husband's last name or returning to her maiden name.

Whether or not a woman goes back to her maiden name is a personal choice; there is no "right or wrong" way to approach the matter. As a Pennsylvania divorce law firm, we generally run across various scenarios when it comes to the husband's last name, including:

  • The husband wants the wife to go back to her maiden name because he's bitter about the divorce.
  • The wife wants to keep her married name so it's the same as the children's.
  • The marriage ended badly and the wife does not want to be reminded of it, so she desires to return to her maiden name.
  • The wife does not like her maiden name, so she prefers to keep her husband's last name after the divorce.
  • The wife does not like her married name, never did, and wants to go back to her maiden name because she likes it better.

We're willing to bet that you can identify with one of the above scenarios if you're trying to decide whether or not to change your name back to your maiden name. If you are considering going back to your maiden name, it's not a difficult process and can be incorporated into your divorce.

Applying for a Name Change During Divorce

Many of our clients want to change their name after a divorce so they can have a fresh start. For a woman who is getting divorced, the procedure is simple. We would simply need to fill out a name change form and submit it to the Prothonotary's Office at the local county courthouse. This is an additional service that divorce attorneys typically provide for their clients.

The procedure for changing one's name is the same in all Pennsylvania counties, however, the filing fees vary. Once this procedure is complete, you'll need to change your name on your driver's license and your Social Security card.

When you do apply to change your name on your license and your Social Security card, you need to provide an official copy of the Notice to Resume Prior Surname.

If you are divorcing and want to return to your maiden name, we can help. To learn more, contact Cairns Law Offices for a free consultation!

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