Can my fiance change her last name to my mother’s maiden name prior to our marriage, so I may take it when we get married?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my fiance change her last name to my mother’s maiden name prior to our marriage, so I may take it when we get married?

I was born in Colorado Springs, CO with my fathers last name of Grube. My parents divorced when I was a year old. My mother remarried after moving to Carson City, NV when I was 5 and we took my stepfathers last name of Gotchy. They did the proper paperwork with the social security office in NV yet did not amend my birth certificate. When they divorced I was 7 and I wanted to take my mothers maiden name of Maskaly but she refused and to this day I have the last name of Gotchy. I’m getting married at the end of April and as you may imagine getting this sorted out legally to where I can adopt my mothers maiden name has been a nightmare. I have no physical copy of my birth certificate, or my social security card. I can get copies of both but it takes time that I don’t have. For the time being…would my fianc be able to change her last name to Maskaly prior to the wedding so that I may be able to ‘take’ her name when we marry?

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Family Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your finance can do this: any person may legally change his or her name to any name he or she chooses. Your fiance can contact the county court for instructions and forms; it should be just a matter of paywork, fees, and possibly a very brief, pro forma (as a formality) court appearance.

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