One of the most common questions we are asked at divorce consultations is: “How do I change my name?” or “How do I go back to my maiden name?” Luckily, in Pennsylvania, the process is relatively simple.
If you are a party to a divorce action, you may resume any prior surname at any time prior to or subsequent to the entry of the divorce decree. The statute requires that written notice be filed in the office of the Prothonotary in the county where the original divorce action was filed or the divorce decree was entered.
If you desire to change your name but do not wish to resume a prior surname, the statute requires that you petition the court of common pleas where you reside. The court will schedule a hearing, where you will be required to show proof that you provided notice of the hearing in two newspapers of general circulation in the county where you reside and proof that you performed an official search showing that you have no judgments, decrees of record or other similar matters against you for the last five years.
You should consult with an experienced attorney regarding your options if you seek a name change. Please contact our experienced divorce attorneys, Alexis Miloszewski, Esquire and Jessica E. Smith, Esquire, by calling (717)520-4400 or by emailing FamilyLaw@jsdc.com.