Do I have to Change my Name after my Divorce?

If a divorce is particularly bitter, the woman may want anything associated with her ex to be gone from her life, including being known by his last name.  She may want everyone to realize quickly that she is no longer married and being known by her maiden name is a sure way to let people know she is divorced without discussing it with anyone.

However, for various reasons, some women choose to keep their married name.  Their divorces may still have been bitter, but their personal choice is to keep their name.  It may be because they are well-known professionally and worry that potential clients may not find her as easily.


It may be that she wants to continue to have the same last name as her children.  This is very important to many mothers and keeps things simple when contacting schools or doctors’ offices.  The most common reason women choose not to change their names back to their maiden name is that they simply do not want to deal with the hassle.

Informing everyone of your new name is a huge undertaking.  Many places require official paperwork (notarized forms) in order to change your name.  Banks may require you to close the account with your married name and reopen another account with your new name.  You will be amazed at how many places you will need to contact.

If you want to change your name, make sure the judge knows your plans when you go to court so this can be included in his orders.  You will need to change your name with Social Security first as many places will require your new Social Security card before they will allow you to change your name.

Changing your name after a divorce is your decision.  You will have to carefully think about what you want and how much paperwork you are willing to deal with as you make your choice.  Try to think rationally and not just with your emotions.  Being hurt and angry with someone could lead you to make a choice you may regret later.

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