In my divorce decree, my ex-wife requested and the court granted the return/use of her maiden name. Now however, I’m finding that she either uses the maiden-married surname and sometimes she continues using just my last name/her married name. Is this legal?
First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice in the state of Maryland, so I am unable to provide you with any specific advice as it relates to your questions as I am unfamiliar with all the laws in Maryland.
Your ex-wife’s legal name will be the name that the Court wrote in the final decree. However, as long as she is not using different variations of her name and your old name to defraud anyone or the government, then she may not be doing anything wrong. This is really no different that someone named William going by “Bill” or someone with a hyphenated last name only using one name.
It may be that your ex-wife just didn’t bother changing her name with some companies and/or agencies because she didn’t want to fill out the proper paperwork or didn’t want to stand in line. However, if you are concerned about her actions, I would recommend that you speak to an attorney in Maryland to see what options you have available to you.
Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.