Most women have continued the tradition of changing their last name to that of their husband when they get married. However, many opt to return to their maiden name when they divorce. For a lot of women, it’s about reclaiming their life and shedding as much of their ex as possible — including his name. However, there are some good reasons for women to keep their married name after the split.
Some keep their married name so they have the same name as their children. It helps their kids have a continued sense of family that they, their mom and their dad share a last name. If they’re still close to their in-laws or even with their ex, they may also feel that they want that continued sense of family with them.
Women who have been known by their married name professionally for some time find it beneficial to keep it. That’s how clients, former colleagues and others in their industry know them. Women who own their own businesses or who have a high profile in their field with their married name often find it preferable to keep it.
For many women, their married name is part of their identity. They feel that the name belongs to them as much as to their ex. They may prefer it to their maiden name.
For some women, they simply don’t want to deal with the paperwork and other hassles. Besides having to change it with Social Security, employers, the Division of Motor Vehicles and many other entities, they have to change it on all of their social media profiles. Unless they feel a strong need to change it, it may just not be worth it.
For some women, reclaiming their married name feels like announcing to the world that they have divorced. While there should be no shame in getting divorced, they may not feel the need to tell their kids’ teachers (although that may still be wise), numerous casual acquaintances and old high school and college buddies about this very personal event.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to return to your maiden name, your Connecticut family law attorney can provide some insight into the pros and cons. He or she can also provide guidance on the steps to take if you do decide to return to your maiden name or perhaps decide to hyphenate the two names.
Source: Huffington Post, “11 Arguments For Keeping Your Ex’s Last Name After The Divorce,” Brittany Wong, July 26, 2016