Should You Change Your Name After Your Divorce?

If you changed your last name to your husband’s when you married, you might be considering changing it back to your maiden name after your divorce. Depending on your situation, there are pros and cons to a name change. 

Fresh Start 

Dropping your ex-spouse’s name creates a firm break from your past married life. Taking your spouse’s name symbolized you were one unit. Changing your last name shows you are no longer emotionally, legally, or financially connected. You are independent, and your marriage is over. If you are having a difficult relationship with your ex-spouse, it may be additional motivation to change your name. 

Does Your Maiden Name Reflect Who You Are? 

You should be proud of this new, post-divorce you. You are not the same person you were during your marriage. Life after your divorce is a new chapter. Changing your name, where you live, and even new clothes may be part of your emotional makeover. 

Will a Name Change Cause Confusion in Your Professional Life? 

If you work professionally, own a business, or are successfully moving up in your industry, you have a personal brand you need to maintain. You want people to think specific positive thoughts when your name comes up in conversation, or you meet them. Changing your name can confuse those you work with or connect with.  

However, this change should be manageable. Businesses often rebrand themselves, their products, and their services. Do you drive a Nissan? Back in the day, it was a Datsun. Blue Ribbon Sports is now Nike. Divorces are common, and changing your name is not something negative. Consider making it positive by creating a reason to reach out to these people, give them an update, and engage in a conversation.  

Will It Impact Your Children? 

You could change your last name, but your children could have their father’s last name. If your kids are young, maintaining your ex-spouse’s last name may be more practical and easier. You can always change it later. 

Which Name Do You Like More? 

Do you have a preference? You might not like your maiden or married name for many reasons. It may be very long, difficult to spell, or not very flattering. You might not have enjoyed being Ms. or Mrs. Butts, Crump, or Gopnick. You may be tired of spelling out “Krzyzewskewicz” to people. You have options. 

Changing Your Name and Bill Collection 

Some people leave their marriages deep in debt, and if they have been out of the workforce for a long time, their job and income prospects might not be good. Bill collectors use many methods to find debtors. As part of the name change process, you will need to publish a notice of your name change. Thanks to that notice, the internet, the amount of publicly available information about you, and special databases used to find people, going back to your surname will not help. 

If you have questions about the name-changing process, call us at (215) 607-2893 or fill out our online contact form