Can you change your last name back to maiden name while still married without having to go to court?
Is it possible to officially change one's last name back to one's maiden name while still legally married without having to go through the regular legal name change process? We are currently separated and not divorced for other reasons and I wish I had kept my maiden name from the beginning. I would like to know if there is a way to just go back to officially having my maiden name without as much legal hassle as getting an entirely new name change or getting divorced yet.
Read your marriage license. Some states, like New York, allow you to use both names legally, although you can not have two sets of identification. Which is why some people hyphenate their names. If you can use both legally even while married then just change back your documents.
If this is not permitted in your state then you may have to go through the hassle of a name change to legally change it back before you are divorced. You are correct that most settlements and orders have a paragraph that refers to this issue. But you should possibly consider a separation agreement nonetheless for other legal issues. Check with an attorney in your state.