Should I Change My Name After a Divorce?



For women who file for divorce in Pasadena, deciding whether or not to change their last name after the divorce is finalized can be a tricky decision. While many women gladly accepted their husband's surname when they were married, it's common for them to have mixed feelings about the post-divorce name change option.

The biggest advantage of changing your name after a divorce is giving yourself a mental "fresh start" on a new chapter of your life. However, some women do not wish to go back to their maiden name due to strained relations with their family members. In this case, picking an entirely different last name might be an option to consider.

If you have children with your ex, keeping the same surname makes it easier for outsiders to identify you as a family. Obviously, people who are close to you will know that you have gotten a divorce. However, people who are just meeting you and your children for the first time are likely to assume that you have the same surname. Explaining the situation is a minor annoyance in most cases, but it can be problematic in emergencies. For example, healthcare workers are often reluctant to release information about a child to a parent who does not have the same surname for fear of accidentally violating patient privacy laws. It is possible to have your children's last names changed or hyphenated after a divorce, but this presents its own set of complications to deal with.

If you were married for a long time, your married name might be the basis of your professional reputation. For example, a published journalist might want to keep her married name because all of her professional writing samples are under this byline. Changing her name would leave her in the position of having to explain her marital status to a potential employer, which opens the way for possible discrimination. A doctor might want to keep the same name if she relies on positive word-of-mouth advertising to attract new patients.

Regardless of what you decide to do, your Pasadena divorce attorney can provide assistance in making sure all of the proper legal paperwork has been filed to address this aspect of your divorce settlement.