Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name?

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Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name?

Postby morty » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:37 pm

I know there has to be an attorney among us. After being divorced for 16 years from a spouse-who remarried and took a new married name for 15 years-can a former spouse legally re-take your last name? In the divorce decree, 16 years ago, she was adament that she go back to her maiden name. Then she divorced again. Now bill collectors are calling my home looking for her. Is there a legal remedy?
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:40 pm

If the name was in her latest divorce decree and a judge approved it, then it must be her name. Maybe you could sue the judge. :)
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby bottlecap » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:45 pm

She could change her name to anything she wants, couldn't she? I don't see this as a divorce issue.

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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby Calm Man » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:48 pm

Why don't you find her a 3rd husband and make preparations for #4 for a few years from now.
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby jeff1949 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:49 pm

If they are just calling you to find her and are not calling to claim the debt is yours you probably do not have a recourse except to ask them nicely not to call you anymore after explaining why. If they persist after that then you may have a claim against the caller.

I cannot see any circumstance under which you could make your ex-wife change her name to something else.
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby nisiprius » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:57 pm

I don't perceive the problem as "how to prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name," I perceive it as "how to stop bill collectors from calling you about debts from someone with the same last name as you."

I was in the latter situation a couple of times and was able to resolve it just by jumping through the collection agencies' bureaucratic hoops, i.e. leaving messages at the toll-free number provided saying "I'm not this person, I'm not related to this person, and it's not my bill," and ultimately saying the same thing to a live human. I had to be somewhat firm about politely declining when they kept doing a little social-engineering-type fishing ("do you have any information that would help us locate this person?").
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:09 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (legal question).
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby tfb » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:11 pm

Is it really your name? Are you the only person with that last name?
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby Watty » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:06 pm

morty wrote: Is there a legal remedy?


For the calls there is.

You can send a letter to the bill collector telling them to never contact you about the debt again. I have done this a couple of times when I got calls for debts by someone with a similar name. I found that if I just ignored the call they kept calling.


http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/01 ... collection

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-h ... ors/nPgJX/
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby SSSS » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:11 pm

I'm pretty sure in America you can name yourself whatever you want, with the possible exception of trademarks.
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby dratkinson » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:20 pm

In the '70s, was once turned down for a CC because I was behind on my alimony. Had fun talking to the CC company and credit bureau because I'd never been married. Joked with them about "No play, no pay." Eventually got the CC, or another, don't remember which.

(1) Social engineering. Lots of people in the phone book with my last name. I know nothing about their day-to-day lives. (True for you too.) I'm not responsible for their debts.

(2) Social engineering. Ask the collection agency who she was/is last/currently married to. Tell them you are not him.... Suggest they pursue him.
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby SurfCityBill » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:15 am

Is your ex purposely mis-leading lenders into believing that you are a co-borrower? Just because she is using your last name why would a lender call you? How would they even know you are tied to this person? I could understand if you were divorced a couple years ago, but 16? None of your information should show up on her credit reports at this point. Something sounds fishy.
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Re: Can you legally prohibit an ex from reclaiming your name

Postby The Wizard » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:36 am

Don't pick up on calls from unknown numbers.
You have no obligation to assist any bill collectors on this issue...
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