Do I Have to Change my Name When I Get Divorced?
No. Whether you change your name after the divorce is finalized is completely up to you. Your spouse has no say in the matter, even if it was “his” name before you married.
If you do choose to change your name after your divorce, you can include the change in your divorce settlement. This can make the process much easier than legally changing it on your own and updating all of your legal documents, such as your driver’s license and any titles in your name, piece by piece.
Think about what life would be like if you kept your married name and how it would change if you chose to revert to your birth name. Some people even choose a new surname after they divorce or take on a family name other than their birth name. There is no universal “right choice” for this dilemma. You can find the right choice for you by considering the following:
Reasons to Keep your Married Name
One of the most common reasons why divorced women (and men, in certain cases) keep their married names after divorce is to share a surname with their children.
Another reason why many divorced individuals choose to keep their married names is to keep their identities consistent. If you were married for a long time, there is a good chance most or even all of the people in your social and professional circles know you by your married name. If you are established with one name, changing it can separate you from your publications, achievements, and positions somewhat.
Reasons to Change your Name After a Divorce
Many divorcing individuals change their names as a way to “reclaim” their previous identities after they divorce. This is a popular choice for individuals exiting difficult and abusive marriages. Reverting to your birth name can help you feel closer to your parents and other family members while marking the end of your marriage. For many, it is also a symbolic start of the “next chapter” in their lives, the time after they divorce.
Changing your name after your divorce can also make it easier for you to date again. A potential date could be put off by you still having a former spouse’s name, and you too could feel less inhibited about dating again if you remove all references to your former spouse from your life, including your name.
Draper Law Office can Represent you through Each Step of the Divorce Process
Changing your name after your divorce is a personal decision. For decisions that have a legal impact, talk with your lawyer before making any moves. Contact our team at Draper Law Office today online or by calling 866-767-4711 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our three convenient office locations.