Name Change After Divorce in Alabama

About Alabama Divorce & Family Law

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Can I change my name after an Alabama Divorce?

It is not uncommon for women to change their names after a divorce. Under Alabama law, people may generally use any name they wish to use, baring a name change for fraudulent purposes. Changing a name is a legal proceeding. Your Alabama divorce attorney can help you change your name at the time of the divorce by adding it to the divorce agreement and final order or filing a legal proceeding after the divorce is final. This may be accomplished by filing a petition to change your name in the Probate Court of your county of residence. You can have your name changed in the divorce decree by adding the line, “The Wife shall resume the use of her previous name, _________.” Any petition to change a name must be signed by the person seeking to change names, and the name by which they are known and the new that they wish to use in the future must be included. If a child is adopted, their name may be changed through the adoption procedure.
Interestingly, a former wife may be forbidden from using the given name or initials of her former husband. The statute provides:

“After divorce from the bonds of matrimony and within the discretion of the circuit court of the county in which the divorced wife resides and upon application of any interested party, the divorced wife may be enjoined from the use of the given name or initials of the divorced husband.”

In practice, this is a rarely used provision, especially if you have children. Most wives keep the husband’s last name to match the child’s name, and most judges today will not force a wife to give up their husband’s name absent extenuating circumstances. We’ve also been involved with trying to remove the father’s name from a child. This is almost impossible unless you can terminate the parental rights of the father before the name change.

Consult a Divorce Lawyer Near You in Alabama
The lawyers at Alabama Divorce and Family Law, LLC have successfully practiced law for decades and have handled thousands of divorce cases, from simple uncontested divorces to highly complex litigation. If you are thinking about a divorce in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Shelby County, or anywhere in Alabama, please contact us today for a confidential assessment of your case. If you have been served a divorce complaint, you have limited time to protect your rights, children, assets, and reputation. We regularly help clients in divorce proceedings from Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover, Chelsea, Alabaster, Pelham, Bessemer, and across the great state of Alabama.