Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

Man takes wife's name in marriage

In general, what is the law about name changes in marriage--mainly in Maryland but also in Virginia and DC? Specifically, can a man assume the family name of his wife? Can they make up a new name or use any combination of both names? For any change due to marriage, do forms need to be filed?

Asked on 8/27/03, 6:10 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

G. Joseph Holthaus III Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus

Re: Man takes wife's name in marriage

I am a Maryland attorney so I cannot speak as to the law in other states.

In Maryland there is a process to pursue a name change. Publication is required and anyone who wants to raise issue may do so.

Maryland has passed the ERA so a man can take his wife's name if he were to choose so. I imagine that this may entail a change of name proceeding inasmuch that this is not the societal expectation. Complying with formal name change proceedings may be a good course of action.

Where a name change is sought to avoid creditors or otherwise avoid legal obligations, the court will be not grant the request.

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Answered on 8/29/03, 12:54 am
Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher

Re: Man takes wife's name in marriage

You can choose any name but if it's a "new" name you would have to petition the court to approve it.

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Answered on 8/28/03, 1:52 pm

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