A spouse can elect to retake his or her prior name through the course of a divorce action. Pursuant to 54 P.S. § 504, “any person who is divorced from the bonds of matrimony may resume any prior surname used by him or her by filing a written notice to such effect in the office of the clerk of the court in which the decree of divorce was entered, showing the caption and docket number of the proceeding in divorce.” It is also possible to request to retake your maiden name while the divorce is still pending in Bucks County. Check with your county court regarding any applicable filing fee. Currently Bucks County has a $9 filing fee.
Subsection (b) of the statute addresses divorce decrees granted outside of the jurisdiction. In that event, notice to retake maiden name can still be filed after a certified copy of the foreign decree has been filed with court where notice to retake maiden name is being filed. The form of the notice to retake prior surname is below. It is also available on the Bucks County Prothonotary website.
NOTICE OF ELECTION TO RETAKE PRIOR NAME
Notice is hereby given that (Current Name) , having been granted a Final Decree of Divorce on (Date) , hereby elects to retake and resume the prior surname of (Prior Name) and gives this written notice avowing her intention in accordance with 54 Pa.C.S.A. Section 704.
TO BE KNOWN AS: