Should I Change My Last Name After Divorce?
The term maiden name is fast becoming a relic, as many now prefer using their birth name instead. Many women these days choose to keep their birth names when marrying and have the right to do so. Yet, it is still more common for them to take on their husbands’ last names when they marry. Those that have changed over to a spouse’s last name and later divorce may want to revert, and there are valid reasons for doing so. Still, other women prefer to keep their ex-spouse’s names. Understanding the pros and cons to both sides is essential before making any name-changing decisions.
Returning to the Birth Name
Some women want to completely disconnect from their former spouses, including their last names. Reverting to a birth name involves more paperwork, time and money, but women do so because they want a fresh start and a clean break from their ex-spouses. This process can be carried out during or after the divorce proceedings but can be costly and tedious. If it is not accomplished in the divorce, there needs to be a provision and a court order. Then, there must be a separate proceeding to finalize the change. Once finalized, all documents will need to be updated as soon as possible to reflect the change.
Keeping the Married Name for the Children
Holding on to the married name can make things less complicated for the children, especially younger ones. As they face post-divorce changes, such as new living arrangements, schools, and family traditions, it may be best to keep the last name consistent. This can also make it easier to deal with school situations and bills.
Keeping the married name may also make sense for women with established careers and reputations. Work colleagues and contacts will be used to the married name and changing it back could create some setbacks. In addition to revising documents that contain the married name, it will be necessary to update everyone and possibly explaining what happened.
Other Reasons to Keep the Married Name
There are financial reasons for keeping married names. Reverting to a birth name on leases, hire-purchases, and bonds can impact credit ratings and subsequent interest rates because divorced people are regarded as a higher risk than married ones. When it comes time to travel, it will be necessary to change your passport. Those who already booked travel before the name change should ensure that the booking information matches what is shown on the passport. Other issues that need to be addressed after a name change include changing computer passwords, social media, health insurance, tax forms, and anything else that contains the married name.
Morristown Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Throughout the Divorce Process
If you are unsure about the implications of last name changes, reach out to the experienced Morristown divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Our Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey offices help clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains. Call us at 908-575-9777 or complete our online form for a free case evaluation today.