Aurora, CO asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Colorado

Q: Can my ex wife use my name? Legally changed her name 2010. Harassing landlord to get me evicted due to custody issues.

My ex-wife moved to Nebraska at the end of 2021. My landlord notified me that she called using my last name to get information about my apartment and living arrangements. She absolutely insisted that they take pictures and invade my privacy. She was curious as to who all was on the lease. She also mentioned my past criminal issues in an attempt to get me evicted. We are in the midst of a very nasty custody battle since I now have custody of the kids.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Rebecca Pescador
Rebecca Pescador
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Westminster, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: If I am following your explanation correctly, you have been divorced for some time, and in 2010 your ex-wife changed her name so it was no longer the same as your last name. Her legal name is now, and has been for many years, her prior name.

If that is the case, then no, she cannot legally use your last name.

As your ex, with no interest in your current living situation, she is only entitled to limited information about your housing situation. She is entitled to know where you live because she is entitled to know where the children are. She is entitled to know who lives there in order to have some information about whether the children may be in danger from your living situation.

She is not entitled to have the landlord essentially go do a full investigation of your home on her behalf, which is what it sounds like she was attempting to do. Attempting to get you evicted is also not something she's allowed to do, nor does that indicate putting the children's needs first.

The other part of this is what can you do about it. You can report it to the police as harassment. It is not likely to get much action though. At best, it may get an officer to call her and tell her this is not acceptable and that she needs to quit before it becomes something she could face charges over. The fact that she lives in Nebraska and is calling from there will also make law enforcement reluctant to take action, as there becomes a jurisdictional issue. If it becomes part of a pattern of harassment or escalates further, law enforcement may become more willing to address it.

You should report to the court in your custody battle that this was done. You should talk to your landlord about whether he might be willing to testify to his conversation. A letter will not generally be accepted by the court. If your ex is in the habit of engaging in this kind of tactic, this may be a clear place to demonstrate it to the court. It may or may not make any difference in any changes in the custody arrangements, but it will very likely get the court to get very specific with her about what she can and cannot do to learn more about your household.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.