Divorce brings with it a number of changes, which will have a long lasting impact on you and your ex-husband. In the aftermath of your divorce, should you drop your ex-husband’s name and revert back to your maiden name, or should you keep your married name?
How Long Were You Married?
Before you reach a decision, you will want to take several factors into consideration, such as the length of your marriage. If you have shared your ex-husband’s name for most of your adult life and you are now approaching 50, it can be quite difficult to contemplate the idea of reverting back to your maiden name that you last used when you were 19. However, women who were only married for a short period often have no trouble in reverting back to their maiden name once they are divorced.
If you have been known professionally as Mrs. Brown for the last 25 years, it can hurt your business interests to then suddenly change back to your maiden name. Some business people even lose clients and contracts after they change their names and find it difficult to rebrand themselves under their maiden name.
When There Are Children from the Marriage
Did you and your ex-husband have children? If so, you will want to take their interests into consideration before you decide what to do for the best. Many mothers decide to keep their married name after their divorce so that their children will see that even though their parents are no longer together, everyone still has the same last name. It is also easier for some when they attend parent-teacher conferences without having to explain to each and every teacher that they have a different name to their children.
However, if you do decide to change your name back to your maiden name, you will want to ensure you explain to your children in age-appropriate language that just because mummy has a different last name to them, that does not mean they are no longer related. It simply means that mummy is using the name that she was born with, just as John and Jessica use the name that they were born with.
At the end of the day, it is up to women to decide for themselves whether to keep their married name following divorce or if they will drop their ex-husband’s name and revert back to using their maiden name. There are no hard and fast rules; nor is it a legal requirement to keep or otherwise stop using your married name. If you are newly divorced, give it some serious thought and wait until your emotions are on a more even keel before you decide what to do.
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