Florida – Name Changes in Divorce and Other Instances by Dana E. Quigley, Esq.
During a divorce case, many women wish to change their name back to either their maiden name or another previous name and no longer be known as by their current married name. However, if you want your name changed you must specifically request that your name be changed in your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage or the judge will not have the authority to change your name. It needs to be requested as part of your case.
Of course, there are instances where you may be unsure as to whether you wish to change your name back for various reasons. The most common reason is that the children have your married name and for consistency sake it may be prudent to keep your married name. Or, sometimes for professional reasons such as you have always been known by your married name and have developed a reputation under that name. The reasons for hesitation are as unique as the person involved in the case.
Just keep in mind that if your name is not changed during the dissolution of marriage proceedings or if you decide to hold off on making this decision for some time in the future, there is a separate case that you can file (later on) to have your name legally changed; however, it would be a completely separate case from your dissolution of marriage case and it involves a few more steps. Nevertheless, the procedure for a name change is available. There have even been instances where I have done name changes for men who wish to take on their stepfather’s last name (as an adult) as that was the person who was the real parent – those are neat cases to handle.