In the past, it has been customary in America for women to change their names after marriage. Today, the standards are not so consistent. Many women choose to change their names, and some keep their last names. Some families hyphenate their names and others choose entirely new names. No matter what you choose to do during the marriage, you might want to change your name after a divorce. Of course, this is not always an easy decision.
Will it Affect your Children?
Many women prefer to keep their married names after they have children, even if they get divorced. This is often because they would like to share a last name with their little ones. Unfortunately, this may become a problem later. What if you remarry and have more children? If you do have children, it is possible that they will choose to change their names later on as well. This is something that you have to decide on your own.
Many women choose to change their name when an ex-spouse remarries. You might feel as if you are obligated to change your name to accommodate a new woman, but you are not legally required to do so.
Will it affect your professional life?
Plenty of women build their professional lives around their last name. If you have already established yourself as Janice Gilbert, for instance, you do not want to confuse co-workers and clients by showing up as Janice Johnson suddenly. Of course, this is not a problem for many women.
Will it Affect Your Identity?
After divorce, you may feel one of two ways. You might feel very connected to your new identity or connected with your old. You might want to go back to the name you grew up with and shed your name after marriage. You might also have been married long enough to build a real connection to your last name through marriage -- or perhaps you just really like the name. Again, you should choose the name that you feel most comfortable with.
You Don't Have to do It Now
Can't decide what to do quite yet? That's fine. You do not have to make the final decision right now. You can easily change your name back to its maiden form next month, next year or in five years. The process may be lengthier if you choose to wait until after the divorce is final, but the option is always there.
For more information or help, you may want to contact family law experts to understand what will happen if you chose to change your last name.
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