Creating a New Surname After Divorce


For women seeking a Pasadena divorce, one issue to consider as they plan for single life is whether or not to change their last name. Changing your last name is not a required part of the divorce process, but you can include a name change request with your divorce petition if you wish.

Although some women are happy to go back to their maiden name after their divorce, others don’t like the sound of the name they grew up with, hate that it’s hard to spell, or don’t want to revert to a name shared by estranged family members.

One option that is growing in popularity is choosing a new last name to signify that the divorce represents the start of a new stage of life. This could be a shortened or slightly altered version of either your married name or your maiden name, such as changing the surname Amenthorp to Amman. You may choose the last name of a personal role model or a maternal family member. You could even combine elements of two or more names to create an entirely different name for yourself. For example, if your favorite grandfather’s first name was Albert and you wish to honor your Italian roots, you might choose the surname Bertoni.

If you are interested in changing your last name and have a minor child still at home, keep in mind that having a different last name from them can sometimes cause confusion and delays if other adults are not aware of the difference. For example, important records may accidentally be filed under your new last name instead of the child’s last name. Some women get around this issue by choosing to have their child’s last name hyphenated or changed. If you wish to pursue this option, keep in mind that changing the last name of your child is an entirely separate process from changing your own last name and does not affect the parental rights of your former spouse.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can provide assistance with any issues you may have regarding the distribution of assets, child custody, child support, and/or spousal support.