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How do you legally change your last name to your maiden name after many years of divorce?

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I called the Social Security Administration, (800-772-1213) & asked this same question. I was told that I must file a petition with the court. The SSA will not restore your maiden name without court documentation. Information on www.socialsecurity.gov was also useful.

However, there are no US laws that require a woman to take her husband's name nor use a legal process to restore her maiden name if that is not done during the dissolution of the marriage. All that is needed is to fill out the forms from the agency who should be notified (DMV, SSA, etc.) and use your marriage certificate (maiden name) and divorce decree (married name) to show you wish to restore your maiden name.

Or, you can file a simple change of name petition with the probate court in the county in which you reside. Court costs are an average $50-$75 and the hearing takes about 5 minutes.

You can find the list of probate courts in your state as well as blank name change petitions by seeing the links below.
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