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Changing Your Name After a Divorce

After marriage, many spouses make the decision to change their names. Traditionally, a wife takes her husband’s last name as her own. Sometimes, both spouses keep their names, the couple chooses to hyphenate their names, or a man takes his wife’s name. Ultimately, the decision to change one’s name is based on a number of personal factors.

However, name changes can become even more confusing in the event of a divorce. During the divorce proceedings, name changing may seem minor and unimportant. Changing your name can also be a difficult step if your friends and neighbors all know you by your married name. However, many people view changing their back to their pre-marriage names as an important step toward closure and moving on with their lives.

Name Changes and North Carolina Law

North Carolina has a specific statute regarding traditional name changes for divorced women. These North Carolina divorce laws state that a divorced woman may change her name to:

  • Her maiden name
  • The last name of a former deceased husband
  • The last name of a former living husband, if she has children who carry that last name

The process of changing one’s name is different depending on whether the name change is within the context of a divorce. If a divorced person decides to keep the name of her former spouse after a divorce has been fully finalized, she must go through a different process if she later wishes to revert back to another name.

Contact Us

If you are considering a divorce, contact the Raleigh divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, at (919) 833-1040 for help with your divorce proceedings.