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Changing Ex-Wife’s Last Name
– Divorce Advice
Question: I don’t want my ex-wife to continue using my
last name. Can I take her to court to have her change it?
Answer from Cordell & Cordell men’s
divorce attorney Jennifer M. Paine
Probably not, unless she retains your surname
Although, traditionally, a woman assumes her
at marriage and restores her maiden name at divorce, a woman may keep her name
or change her name to whatever she desires provided she does so without
The same is true for men. Thus why the name
change of wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) was allowed.
Examples of fraudulent intent include keeping
your last name to con health insurance companies for coverage as your wife and
using your last name to qualify for a mortgage as a married woman with a
certain “joint” income.
Unless you can show some fraudulent intent,
therefore, you probably cannot sue your ex-wife to change her last name.
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