Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

Is this true for some one married in Oklahoma and divorced many years ago with no change order on the divorce order. I now live in Texas.

There are no US laws that require a woman to take her husband's name nor use a legal process to restore her maiden name if that is not done during the dissolution of the marriage. All that is needed is to fill out the forms from the agency who should be notified (DMV, SSA, etc.) and use your marriage certificate (maiden name) and divorce decree (married name) to show you wish to restore your maiden name.Is this true?

Asked on 10/30/13, 2:02 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

I'm confused by the way that you answered your question so I'll try to answer.

You live in Texas.

When you divorced you did NOT include a change of name.

Therefore, you now need to go to court and ask a judge to do a name change.

So it's not as easy as just showing up with a divorce decree & a marriage license -- great idea but it won't work!

Of course, you can try it but I have not heard of it working in 2013.

From the number of phone calls I receive I guess the agencies are not accepting these documents any longer -- But try it - maybe it will work -- I have not personally tried it since 1973.

Of course, the only people that call an attorney are unhappy people.

If it works, then call me and let me know. I'll learn something new & I'll blog about it and share the information with the public! You will educate people & save other people money!

From what I know, in order to "restore" your maiden name, you need to ask a judge to ORDER the Social Security office, Department of Motor Vehicles, US Passport office, banks, etc. to be ordered to change your name on all legal documents.

You just cannot walk into these agencies and ask that your name be changed.

You will have to pay for this. It's not cheap and it's not easy. After 911, the judges don't easily grant name changes -- even it's to go back to your maiden name. The filing fee for a name change is approximately $300 since you are filing a lawsuit (petition) to a court to do a name change. I recommend that you hire an attorney to assist you. Plus there will probably be a criminal background check. And, you have to swear that you are not avoiding creditors. In summary, it is a real pain in the butt to do a name change after 911.

I've written about it on my old blog.

Apparently, Goggle considers me an "expert" in name changes. BUT I no longer do them after one judge made me in his courtroom for 4 hours because he did not want to grant a name change but he could not find a reason not to grant it -- and that was only changing a FIRST name! I had "flat rated" that case ($500 plus filing fee) and I quit doing name changes after that horrible experience.

Good luck!

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Answered on 10/31/13, 9:08 am

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