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:
Texas Family Code Section 6.706
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.
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 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:
- COVID-19 FAQ For Your Family Law Concerns - March 27, 2020
- TX Supreme Court Issues Additional COVID-19 Guidance for Child Custody - March 25, 2020
- Modifying Child Support Obligations - March 20, 2020