How doI go about getting a cease and desist order to have my ex-wife stop using my last name?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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How doI go about getting a cease and desist order to have my ex-wife stop using my last name?

I was divorced 1 1/2 years ago. The court ruled that my ex-wife would no longer used my last name and return to her maiden name. She is now doing business still using my name. How should I go about obtaining a cease and desist? And does it need to go through the courts?

Asked on August 4, 2011 New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there is a court order--e.g. a ruling--that you ex-wife must stop using your name and revert to her maiden name, that is enforceable. You can go back to court and seek an order compelling her to do this. If she then continues to ignore the court order, she will face sanctions--including, potentially, jail time for contempt of court.

Unfortunately, there is no way to enforce a ruling or court order except through the courts--there is no way for a private citizen to enforce them. Best would be to retain and attorney to enforce this for you, though if you can't afford an attorney, you could represent yourself (file pro se); contact your local court clerk's office to inquire into the instructions, forms, etc. for doing this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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