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Change or Restore Former Name


Summary:  The normal statutory requirements to change a wife’s name or a child’s name do not have to be followed in a family law proceeding. A judge can allow the change somewhat informally in connection with the family law case. If a name change for a wife will result in her last name being different from her children’s last name, in most cases I recommend that the change not be made.


Name Change in Colorado Divorce

In most cases, Colorado law permits anyone to change their name.

In a divorce proceeding, it is somewhat common for a wife to change her last name (surname) back to the name she had prior to that marriage.  All that is required is that she request it and affirm that the name change is not detrimental to the interests of any other person.

However, if there are children of the marriage, I generally recommend that the name change not be done if the present last name is the same as the last name of the children.  Don’t change your name to a name which is different from your children. Your children generally prefer that their last name be the same as that of both parents.

It is also possible in a family law proceeding to change the name of a minor child if it is in the best interests of the child. The best interest factors of CRS §14-10-124 should be used to determine whether the name change is in the best interest of the child.  If the name change is made in a post-dissolution action, then notice should be given to the other parent prior to the name change.

Anyone may change their name even though there is no family law proceeding. Under CRS §13-15-101, generally a name change can be made by anyone.  However, specific requirements are listed, including the publication in a newspaper at least three consecutive times.  And a finger-print criminal background check must be made.  The name change will generally not be made if the applicant was previously convicted of a felony.  In a family law proceeding, these statutory requirements do not have to be followed.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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