After divorce, a woman has the right to revert back to her maiden name, if she so chooses. An ex-spouse cannot force you to change your name if you do not wish to do so.
The name change is limited to, “the name which she was using at the time of the marriage, or the name of her minor children, or her maiden name, without complying with the provisions of R.S. 13:4751 through 4755.” See La. C.C.P. 3947.
If you wish to change your name from your married name after a divorce, ask your divorce attorney to include language to this effect in the judgment for divorce. The language itself does not change your name. You will still have to take steps to have it changed but having the language in the divorce decree will make the process easier should you one day decide you want to.
Obtain several certified copies of the divorce decree.
Start with Primary Name Change Agencies such as the DMV, Social Security Administration, IRS, Passport and Voter Registration. After you finish with the Primary Agencies, change your name with Secondary Agencies. This includes your banking and financial institutions, health care, insurance providers, utilities and any other bills, credit cards, memberships and affiliations.
If the language to revert to your maiden name is not included in your judgment for divorce and you do not have the necessary forms of identification pre and post marriage, you will likely need to file a motion with the Court for confirmation of your name after your divorce proceeding.
This article was written by Shandy Arguelles and is cross posted on Avvo: