Family Law: Name Change in Washington Divorce

In a legal action for Legal Separation or Dissolution of Marriage, either party has the option to have a name change. That may be changing your name back to your maiden name, or to any other name you desire.

You are not obligated to change your name. You cannot require your spouse to change their name nor can they require you to change yours. If however, you want to change your name, you can do so in the Decree of Dissolution. You just have to make sure there is a paragraph in the Decree stating what your new name (first, middle and last) will be.

Once you change your name, you will then need to follow through to enforce that change. You should take a certified copy of the Decree to Social Security, Department of Licensing, banks and other places where your name is registered, so they can have your updated name.

If you fail to change your name in the Decree, and later want to change it, you can file a separate Petition for Name change in the courts, however your will need to pay a new filing fee.

Please feel free to talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys about a name change.