Changing Last Names After Divorce: Things to Consider
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Should You Change Your Last Name After a Divorce?
In the beginning, before the marriage, but during the engagement, you spent countless moments writing your name on every piece of paper around you. You did this because you were excited about becoming his wife and taking his last name, or in some cases not so excited because it wasn’t the ideal last name. Either way, you got married, changed your last name and took it as your own but now that’s all over and you’re stuck with the last name of your spouse, or maybe not. Changing last names after a divorce is not something you worry about initially, but it does have an impact on your post-divorce healing process.
During a divorce, almost every little aspect of the marriage is approached and it can be easy or extremely painful. Your overall objective is to make a clean break, dissolve the marriage and walk away with what is fair, especially if children are involved.
It seems the last thing on anyone’s mind is the last name. However, once the divorce is ending, you begin to think about whether you should keep it. After all, it can sometimes be a painful reminder of what was but for others, they want to keep it because their children have that last name. It makes the process much easier to approach the name change issue during the divorce to decrease the administrative challenges that can come if you do this after the divorce is final.
This day and age things flow differently, as many women hyphenate their married name with their maiden name. In some cases, husbands even assume the last name of their wife in marriages and to the surprise of many, the spouses find a new last name altogether. If you are the spouse that changed your name, you may want to change your name if getting a divorce and if so, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Divorce the Name
Make the name change a part of the divorce proceedings and you’ll be glad you did. You may feel overwhelmed with all else going on with the divorce, but this one extra detail won’t seem like much more. It is best to take care of it during the initial phase of the divorce, as changing your name at the onset of a divorce is simply done by making the notation in the final decree. If you choose to wait until after the divorce is final, you will have to endure the name change process just as a person would at any other time without a divorce. You would attend a court hearing, maybe two, it would be published in the newspaper and additional costs would be incurred. Changing your name during the divorce is cheaper and less of a hassle.
If you are contemplating a divorce, speak with an experienced lawyer for assistance. An attorney can provide the direction and counsel you need to help with name changes and many other details of the divorce.