Many women assume their husband’s last name when they get married. As a result, when they get divorced from their husbands, most want to change it back to their maiden name. There are two options: you can either change it back to a maiden (or any other name) or you could keep your soon-to-be-ex husband’s name. Contrary to what some people might say, you’re not required to give up your ex-husband’s last name.
If you did want to change your name after your divorce in Massachusetts, remember to ask the court for a name change in the actual Joint Petition for Divorce (if it is uncontested) or Complaint for Divorce (if it is contested). There is no charge or extra steps to take if you remember to include it in the original Petition or Complaint. If however, you forget to and the case has gone on for a while, you will need to motion the court for a name change before the divorce is finalized. Also, if you petition to have your name changed after the divorce is finalized, then you be charged a fee (currently $165.00), and you will also need to start a whole separate court petition.
In short, if you’re going to change your name, do it at the outset of the divorce. It will save you time and money.