November 7, 2013

If you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways, you are likely facing a host of decisions about what your future will now look like as a single individual. One of the more intimately personal decisions you may be contemplating is whether or not to change your name after your divorce is finalized. You may be a woman who has taken your husband’s name for many years, or you may be a man who has hyphenated or otherwise altered your last name to include your wife’s. Either way, the choice to keep or change your current last name should be yours alone and should be made with your best interests in mind.

Some people change their names in the wake of divorce in order to begin again symbolically and practically. They may not want their names associated with their former spouses. Or, they may simply find power and self-confidence in the switch. If you ultimately choose to change your name, please contact your attorney so that the correct paperwork can be filed.

On the other hand, some people choose to keep their married names for a variety of reasons. If your children share your spouse’s name, perhaps you will want to keep your last name the same as well. You may also simply identify with your married name or feel that you have invested in what that name has come to mean for you. Names are deeply personal assets and should be changed only when individuals feel that it is important to do so.

Source: Huffington Post, “Should You Keep Your Ex’s Last Name After Divorce?” Oct. 26, 2013

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