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Should I Change My Name After My Divorce?


The majority of women who marry choose to change their surnames to their husbands’ surnames when they do so. There are many different reasons why women choose to change their names, such as cultural expectations and the desire to use the shared name as a foundation for their new family. Although some see the tradition as outdated and patriarchal, it is worthwhile to note that in some marriages, the husband takes his wife’s name and in many same sex marriages, one partner changes their name to the other’s.

When an individual who changed his or her name for marriage divorces, he or she can face the dilemma of whether to keep the name or revert it to their original name. This is not always an easy decision to make, especially when the couple has children.

Why Some Women Keep their Married Names After Divorce

Your spouse has no say in whether you keep your married name or change your name when you divorce. Many individuals opt to keep their married names after they divorce. Their reasons include:

  • A desire to share a name with their children;
  • No desire to go through the legal hassle of changing all the documents that have to be changed, such as one’s driver’s license, passport, and social security card;
  • Being known professionally and socially by the married name; and
  • The married name is easier to pronounce than the individual’s original name.

Why Other Women Opt to Change their Names After Divorce

For others, changing one’s name back to her original name in a divorce is a priority. Reasons why individuals make this choice include:

  • A desire to completely separate from her former spouse;
  • An effort to reclaim one’s sense of self after an unhealthy marriage;
  • To honor her birth family; and
  • To feel more in touch with her ethnic heritage after bearing a name that did not match her heritage.

You can Include a Name Change in your Divorce Settlement

If you decide to change your name in your divorce, you can do it very easily by including it in your divorce settlement. In fact, it can be as easy as checking a box on your divorce petition next to a paragraph stating that you plan to revert to your original name.

If you do not change your name in your divorce petition, you can change it with the Social Security Administration later.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Divorce Lawyer

Whether you will or will not change your name after your divorce is not a decision for your lawyer to make, it is a decision for you to make. Your lawyer can walk you through the process of legally changing your name after the divorce and write it into your divorce settlement if you choose to do so. Contact our team of Tampa divorce lawyers at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to schedule your initial consultation with us.



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