Maryland Family Lawyer

There are few possessions more personal than our names. You might keep the same name for life. Others alter their monograms as a result of marriage. Name changes also frequently occur upon adoption of a child, and some wish to legally change their current full name out of personal preference. In the event of a divorce, former names are often reclaimed.

A Maryland family lawyer may be able to help you with the procedures involved with obtaining a name change, as many of the reasons for them fall under the category of family law.
Maryland has state-specific laws and policies for the various kinds of alterations to your moniker. The Maryland State Law Library provides a wealth of information on this topic, and it offers an online People’s Law Library of Maryland. For more information, consult with a dedicated family attorney.

Matrimonial Name Changes in Maryland

Many brides change their last name to their husband’s after the wedding. However, in Maryland, this is not required. Should a woman wish to take her husband’s last name, Rule 15-901 of the Maryland Rules will apply, as it involves all adult name changes with the exception of those for the purposes of adoption or divorce. Rule 15-901 requires a statement under oath of the following information:

  • The person’s current name, address, birth date, and location of birth
  • Whether the seeker of a new name has had any other names besides their current one
  • New name
  • Reason for the change
  • Statement that the name change is not happening for an illegal or fraudulent purpose

A Maryland family law attorney may assist a newlywed with this sworn statement.

Maryland Divorce Decree Name Changes

Rather than seeking a name change under Rule 15-901 of the Maryland Rules, a divorcing spouse may seek to have the family court revert their name to their maiden name as part of the divorce decree. Maryland Family Law §§7–105 allows for the reversion to a pre-marriage name to be written into the final divorce decree. If this does not happen, a divorced spouse still has 18 months to petition the family court for a change back to their birth name or any former name. A divorce lawyer in Maryland may assist with either the absolute divorce decree or a later motion to the family court.

Reach Out to a Maryland Family Attorney Today

Although the Maryland State Law Library and its online People’s Law Library of Maryland offer a wealth of knowledge about name changes, they also list many steps that you must follow to change your name in a legal manner, so that you can use it for identification purposes.

You may also want to ensure that divorce name changes are done correctly. Call a Maryland family lawyer to arrange for a smooth transition to a new moniker.