For various reasons, a woman may want to re-take her maiden name after a divorce.  Interestingly, under the Section 704 of Title 54 of the Pennsylvania Code, a person party to a divorce may resume using her prior surname (last name) prior to or subsequent to the entry of the divorce decree.  A judge does not even have to sign the form.  Most people thought the divorce had to be final before this could be done, but a few years ago the law was changed.  The form is a simple one, and is filed with the Prothonotoary in the county where the decree was issues.

Once the form is filed, a "time-stamped" copy needs to be given to official agencies, banks, etc. in order for the "new name" to be used.  The things you will want to change include:

  • social security
  • drivers’ license
  • bank accounts
  • credit cards
  • children’s school records
  • medical records, including health insurance cards