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Family Law Blog

Changing Your Name After a Divorce in Pennsylvania

Published: Jul 31, 2017 in Divorce

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

A divorce often comes with a new identity. No matter how long you were married, for a time you were part of a couple, which probably heavily influenced your identity. Now that you are divorcing, your sense of self will be shaped by your independence. It is not surprising then that you may not want to bring your married surname with you into your new life. You might prefer to return to your maiden name, which you had when you previously independent, or to a name you had from a previous marriage.

Whatever your preference or reasoning, you are entitled to change your last name. To learn the details of how to change your name after a divorce in Pennsylvania, contact a divorce lawyer from Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC.

Changing Your Name During a Divorce

The Pennsylvania courts understand you may want to return to a maiden or previous last name when you get divorced. You may choose to change to a previous last name for a variety of reasons, both practical and emotional. You might want distance from your relationship. You may want to match your last name to your children or other family members again. Whatever your rationale, it is a relatively simple process if you bring it up during your divorce.

Anytime before or soon after your final divorce order is entered, you can file a Notice of Intention to Resume Prior Surname. This works for men and women who want to return to the last name they had prior to marriage. A divorce attorney can ensure you properly fill out the correct form and that it is filed with the court. It may need to be notarized, depending on your county’s rules. Also, there may be a filing fee, which is determined by each county. In Allegheny County, a petition to resume a prior name is only $20.00.

Once you file this notice, your final divorce decree will entitle you to change your married last name back to one of your previous last names, which may be your maiden name or an earlier married name.

Changing Your Name After a Divorce

If you did not address your name change during the divorce and your divorce order does not entitle you to revert back to a previous surname, then you will need to go through a more formal legal process. If your divorce was very recent, you may be able to petition the court to modify the divorce decree, enabling the name change. However, if it has been a few years since your divorce, you will need to go through the lengthier name change process.

In general, the name-change process includes asking the court to allow you to change your name, having your finger prints taken, publishing notice of your name change in newspapers, and attending a hearing. Without legal help, this process could be confusing and more time-consuming than necessary. At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, we are here to help and get you through the process as smoothly and efficiently as we can.

If You Want a New Last Name

Pennsylvania’s expedited name change process for divorcees is for when you want to return to a previous last name. Usually, this is the last name you were born with or a surname you had from a marriage. However, if you want to move forward with your new life with an entirely new last name, you will need to go through the state’s more formal process.

Contact Our Pittsburg Divorce Lawyers for Help

If you believe you are ready to file for divorce or you are already into the process and need help with issues like changing your name, do not hesitate to contact us at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC. We are here to help you get through this difficult time, and we will do whatever is in our power to help you start your new life off on the right foot.

Call us at (412) 471-5100 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh divorce attorney.