50-12. Resumption of maiden or premarriage surname.

(a) Any woman whose marriage is dissolved by a decree of absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court of the county in which she resides or where the divorce was granted setting forth her intention to do so, change her name to any of the following:

(1) Her maiden name; or

(2) The surname of a prior deceased husband; or

(3) The surname of a prior living husband if she has children who have that husband's surname.

(a1) A man whose marriage is dissolved by decree of absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court of the county in which he resides or where the divorce was granted setting forth his intention to do so, change the surname he took upon marriage to his premarriage surname.

(b) The application and fee required by subsection (e) of this section shall be presented to the clerk of the court of the county in which such divorced person resides or where the divorce was granted, and shall set forth the full name of the former spouse of the applicant, the name of the county and state in which the divorce was granted, and the term or session of court at which such divorce was granted, and shall be signed by the woman in her full maiden name, or by the man in his full premarriage surname. The clerks of court of the several counties of the State shall record and index such applications in such manner as shall be required by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(c) If an applicant, since the divorce, has adopted one of the surnames listed in subsection (a) or (a1) of this section, the applicant's use and adoption of that name is validated.

(d) In the complaint, or counterclaim for divorce filed by any person in this State, the person may petition the court to adopt any surname as provided by this section, and the court is authorized to incorporate in the divorce decree an order authorizing the person to adopt that surname.

(e) For support of the General Court of Justice, a fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be assessed against each person requesting the resumption of maiden or premarriage surname in accordance with this section. Sums collected under this section shall be remitted to the State Treasurer. (1937, c. 53; 1941, c. 9; 1951, c. 780; 1957, c. 394; 1971, c. 1185, s. 23; 1981, c. 494, ss. 1-4; 1985, c. 488; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 565, s. 1; 2005-38, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 15.9(a).)