Can (and Should) I Change My Name as Part of My Divorce?

Changing Child Custody

The short answer is yes – if you wish to reclaim your maiden name or a name from a prior marriage then you should do it as part of your divorce.

Texas law provides that:

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.

Texas Family Code Section 6.706

If you have any thought about changing your name to a name used prior to your marriage, then you should take advantage of the opportunity to do so during your divorce.

If you do not ask for a change of name during your divorce, then you will have to file a separate suit in court. This results in increased court costs because it is a separate proceeding and of course, more attorneys fees.

The Process of Changing Your Name In A Divorce

The mechanics of seeking a name change are simple. If you are the party filing for divorce, then you simply request a change of name in your Original Petition for Divorce.

If you are served with a divorce petition, then your attorney will first file an answer.

Your attorney will also file a Counterpetition for Divorce seeking a divorce on the grounds that you allege in your Counterpetition as well as seeking a change of name.

Changing your name will not prevent creditors from collecting on debts that you owed under your prior name. Changing you name in a divorce proceeding will also not prevent you from collecting debts owed to you under your prior name.

After the court orders a change of name, you can get a change of name certificate from the clerk’s office which is legal proof of your change of name.

For more information:

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your divorce case, then please send me an e-mail or send a request through my contact page.

Bryan Willis
Can (and Should) I Change My Name as Part of My Divorce?
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Bryan Willis
Bryan Willis is a divorce lawyer in Tyler, Texas who also represents clients in probate matters. You should not rely on any content on this website as legal advice.

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