Can You Change Your Last Name to One Different From Your Maiden Name in a Texas Divorce

Under the Texas Family Code, a spouse may change her name back to a “name previously used by the party.”

Sec. 6.706. CHANGE OF NAME. (a) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name….

So this gives a divorcing spouse the flexibility to change back to a prior married name, a maiden name, or possibly (depending on the court) a prior common name she was known by. But it’s not likely to be just any future name the spouse wants.

Judges must follow the law. The law says “previously used” name. There are unique circumstances out there, but it will be best to get the guidance of an attorney to change a name to anything else other than previously used.

The full statute is pasted here

Sec. 6.706. CHANGE OF NAME. (a) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.
(b) The court may not deny a change of name solely to keep the last name of family members the same.
(c) A change of name does not release a person from liability incurred by the person under a previous name or defeat a right the person held under a previous name.
(d) A person whose name is changed under this section may apply for a change of name certificate from the clerk of the court as provided by Section 45.106.
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: