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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Im recently widow and would like to go back to my maiden name.

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I'm recently widow and would like to go back to my maiden name. What do I have to do?

I am sorry to hear about your loss. In reference to your question, the process to change your name back to a former name is XXXXX XXXXX straightforward and doesn't take too long. You can find the exact form you will need by going to:

The instructions are on the form and you will file the petition with the clerk of the court in the county where you live. Then you can immediately set a hearing date since this is a former name. If you have any questions after downloading the form please let me know, I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This seems a little overwhelming. I need to be fingerprinted? Where do I go to do that? Are there court costs? I understand that I will have to pay for copies of the judgement but I have a feeling that there may be court costs. It wasn't this difficult to change my maiden name to my married name, why is it so difficult to change back. It's not like I'm asking to use a name that wasn't used before.


You have been very helpful and I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

Hello again,

I can't tell you with certainty where you will can find fingerprinting in your local area. You can contact that police department who often perform this service. If they will not do it, they will tell you where to do it. Of course, there is always a filing fee and court costs, you can contact your local court clerk's office and ask them what the filing fee and court costs will be. All actions that involve the court is going to cost money and take certain official legal steps, as that is how the legal system is set up and paid for. As you can imagine it is would not be wise or legally safe and efficient to let people change their name on a whim as many criminals and people evading financial responsibilities could elude discovery that way. So, there has to be some system for ensuring that those situations are avoided as much as possible. It was a public policy decision based on common law and, quite honestly, tradition, that allows women to take the names of their husbands as a part of the marriage, without additional paperwork other than a marriage license. I don't have any better explanation and can only tell you what the law actually is.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I figured that. Many thanks again. You have been very patient with me and I appreciate it. The form is not that bad as far as questions go so I'll just take my time and do it right the first time around.

You're welcome and you are right just to take your time and not put any pressure on yourself. This is, once you jump through the finger print and filing hoops, a fairly simple procedure. Best of luck to you!