Blog Updated: 12 March 2021
Overview: This blog gives views from other divorced women and their different views about changing their name after divorce.
Changing your name after divorce is very much a personal choice. At NamesPlus, we review various articles and extract information from these articles for your benefit.
We tend to source information from a range of media outlets such as Huffington Post, Divorced Girl Smiling, Single Mum, Forbes, Thrive and others. Links to articles are at the bottom of this blog.
In an article in Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington made the comment: Divorce touches on so many aspects of life: finances, health, career, parenting, self-worth, social identity, emotional well-being, family rituals and traditions, estate planning, even our social media feeds. But above all, our children.
To change or not to change after divorce
To answer the question of whether to change your family name after divorce, there is no right or wrong answer. It is different for every woman.
Each woman has their own story, has their own situation and own thoughts about the situation.
NamesPlus can guide you through the process once you have made a decision to either revert to your maiden name or create a new name.
What women said…
Below are extracts from some of the articles listed below which you may be able to relate to.
Reasons not to change name after divorce
I worried about how it would affect my son as he got older, having a different last name than I did.
I worried how it would affect my career, having established myself in the marketing/advertising world for the past 10 years.
I was contemplating what to do about the married name that I’d become known by. I felt like my name was part of my identity—that’s how people knew me in business and in my community—but I wondered if I’d always reflect on our failed marriage when I heard the name…or still feel associated with my ex if I kept it. I tossed around the idea of going back to my maiden name, but it had been so long since I’d used it, and no one would know who that was now, after all these years. I also felt like going back to my maiden name was going backward, like I was no longer that person I associated that name with.
I kept it for my child’s sake.
Me, my ex and the kids are still part of the same team, with the same jersey.
It’s my professional name.
I kept it to avoid the shame.
Changing it back is a total hassle.
Reasons to change name after divorce
He was a man who repeatedly cheated on me, so why would I want to still share his name?
Changing back to my maiden name has catapulted me into what’s been a several-years-long search for who I am as an independent woman, no longer tied to my ex, and I think a big part of that was owning my old name again.
For me, turning my life with two children upside down to leave a bad marriage was indescribably hard. Deciding to change my name back was easy. The thing that everyone asks me about is the fact that my children will always have a different last name than I do, but it doesn’t bother me and doesn’t seem to bother them, either.
I don’t want to die with his name.
Create a new name
I thought, ‘If I’m going to go through all of the trouble to change all of my documents again, why don’t I at least change my name to something snazzy or that I actually like?
Change name but not quite yet
I got divorced when I was about 35 years old. Changing my name was such a nightmare originally, and that was when I was doing it for a ‘good’ reason. So, I knew I was not going to enjoy changing my name back for a ‘sad’ reason. I also figured I would get married again—and the idea of changing my name back and forth over and over seemed tedious and confusing. So, I stuck with my ex-husband’s last name for a couple of years, and then when I got married for the second time, I changed my name.
The final quote goes to New York family lawyer Casey Greenfield:
It’s all about you. If you’re not sure what to do, look around at other families before you assume your family — or your names — have to look a certain way. You might be surprised by how many different last names make up the family next door. The name you keep, shed, or reclaim is yours. When you are deciding about what to call yourself, a name is not your parents’ or your ex-spouse’s. Do you like the look and sound of it? Do you like the meaning it suggests to you? You’re going to wear this name or rid yourself of it, so decide how it feels to you.” (forbes/should-you-change-your-name-after-divorce)
Where to from here?
You have changed your name once (or maybe more) so you know what is involved in the process.
Once you are comfortable with your decision, then we suggest making an appointment with NamesPlus to see how we can help you.
Changing a name starts with a conversation, so let’s start the discussion.
Sources of information: