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5 things to consider before changing your name after divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Divorce

When you took your husband’s last name after marriage, it was a gesture of love, affection and commitment to your spouse. Now that you’re no longer together, you may want to free yourself from sharing his name. However, choosing to revert back to your previous surname is not an easy decision. There is a lot to think about.

Common deciding factors when changing last names

A name change can bear many challenges as it involves altering a key part of your identity. If you are still contemplating whether this is the right move, here are some common deciding factors that may help:

  1. Impact on your professional reputation

Colleagues and peers likely associate your accomplishments and expertise with your name. If you’ve established a career with your married name, reverting it back now could feel like resetting your professional identity.

Still, it is your talents and abilities that have earned you those accolades. You will likely continue achieving success regardless of what name you go by.

  1. Effect on your children

Divorce can be a very confusing time for you but also for your children. They may have a hard time accepting all the new changes around them. A big adjustment, like your name change, could be very upsetting.

Moreover, as a parent, you may find it challenging to carry a different last name from your children. Having a different surname could create a sense of separation.

  1. Amount of time and effort

The process of changing one’s name is often long and complex. You’d have to deal with legal and administrative procedures while also updating numerous identification documents. Your name change necessitates renewing any financial and personal records that bear your old name.

  1. Social factors

If you’ve been known by your married name for a significant period of time, people in your life, especially those who met you after your marriage, may find it challenging to adjust to your new name.

Friends and family might inadvertently continue to use your married name out of habit, leading to awkward and uncomfortable situations. Such repeated instances, while usually unintentional on their part, could become a source of annoyance or frustration for you.

  1. Attachment to your name

If your previous surname brings up unpleasant memories, the decision to revert back to it can be a difficult one. Similarly, you may not want to retain your former spouse’s surname. Keep in mind that you are not limited to these two options. You could take an entirely new name altogether.

Whatever you decide, the name you choose to bear should be one that you feel comfortable and content with. However, if you decide to change your name, it’s crucial to review your divorce decree first. A consultation with an attorney may save you from further hassle and legal complications.

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