N.C.G.S. Sec. 50-12 provides that anyone whose marriage is dissolved by a decree of absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court of the county in which they reside or where the divorce was granted setting forth their intention to do so, change their name.
A woman has the choice of reverting to her maiden name, the surname of a prior deceased husband, or the surname of a prior living husband if she has children who have that husband’s surname. If a man changed his surname upon marriage, he may revert to his pre-marriage surname.
A person may petition for a name change in the divorce complaint, and the court is authorized to incorporate in the divorce decree an order authorizing the person to adopt that surname. A fee in the amount of $10.00 shall be assessed against each person requesting the resumption of their maiden or pre-marriage surname.