The 2016 Maryland General Assembly session ended on April 11, 2016 and with it ended House Bill 1183 – Family Law – Divorce – Restoration of Former Name. Although it passed the House with amendments, it died in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. As amended, HB1183 would have allowed a person to seek restoration to his/her former name upon request within 18 months after the divorce is granted. Perhaps HB1183 will be reintroduced in the 2017 Session with more momentum.
Under current law (Family Law Article §7-105), the court shall restore a spouse to his/her birth name or any former name the party wishes to use at the time of the divorce. So, the request for restoration to a birth or former name must be made before or at the divorce hearing and granted at the time of the divorce – not after. A person wishing to change his/her name after the divorce will still be required to go through a
formal name change. Please see Volume 1 and Volume 2 for more discussion.
By: Lindsay Parvis