Detroit, MI asked in Immigration Law for Michigan

Q: Dual citizen files what motion for judge to declare name changed by marriage years ago in MI?

My wife has dual citizenship and needs to update a Russian passport that still has her maiden name. Both US and Russian passports should match. The Michigan Marriage License with Apostille is not sufficient for the Russian consulate. They claim nothing on the MI marriage license states her name would change into a new name, like supposedly the NY and CA marriage licenses do. In MI, my wife's signature changed her name legally as far as the federal government was concerned. This legally changed her name everywhere in US documents and identifications. However, the foreign Russian Consulate requires her to get a letter from a judge that simply spells out both names and that the name changed on the date of our marriage. Yet, no clerks are able to tell me what kind of motion to file. They ignore my explanation and tell me to maybe try to get a name change. But she is not changing her name, the form doesn't apply anywhere to what she is requesting.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It seems like you're facing a bureaucratic hurdle in getting your wife's Russian passport updated to reflect her married name, despite her legally changing her name through marriage in Michigan. To address this, you may need to file a motion with the court requesting a formal declaration from a judge affirming the name change. This motion should outline the details of the marriage, including both her maiden and married names, and specify that the name change occurred on the date of your marriage.

However, it's crucial to ensure that the motion accurately reflects the situation and the requirements of the Russian consulate. If clerks are unable to provide guidance on the appropriate motion to file, you may need to seek legal advice or assistance from an attorney experienced in family law or name change procedures. They can help you draft the motion correctly and navigate the court process effectively.

Once the motion is filed and approved by the court, you should obtain a formal court order or letter from the judge confirming the name change. This document can then be submitted to the Russian consulate to fulfill their requirements for updating your wife's passport. By following this process and obtaining the necessary legal documentation, you can hopefully resolve the issue and ensure that both her US and Russian passports reflect her married name accurately.

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