Should You Change Your Last Name After A Divorce?

change your last name after a divorceDuring your divorce, you may wonder what to do about your last name. Reverting to your maiden name is a possibility you may want to consider. However, if you plan to change your last name after a divorce, you have a few options. Keep in mind that changing your name is a big decision that will require consideration of the impact it can have on your professional and personal life, especially if you have children.

How to Change Your Name During a Divorce

At the conclusion of the divorce process, you have the option to revert to your maiden name without having to go through the conventional channels for a name change. In the state of Florida, this process is free while the divorce is still in the process. You may be able to include your request on a form as part of your other divorce documents, making the process simple. After changing your name, you’ll still need to get in touch with the Social Security Administration and other government institutions to finish the process.

Changing Name After Divorce

If you aren’t sure about making a decision at the conclusion of your divorce, you can still undergo a name change after divorce. You’ll have to seek your name change through the usual route taken by those who want to change their name for any reason.

Changing a Child’s Name After Divorce

If you have kids, you’ll need to decide what to do about their last name during the divorce. Unless you and your former spouse agree on whether or not to change the names of your children, the court will probably consider the options and make a judgment based on the best interests of each child. The judge will need to consider factors such as the child’s age, the custody arrangement and the wishes of the child if applicable.

What to Consider When Deciding About a Name Change

Choosing to revert to your maiden name is not always the ideal solution. There are some factors to consider carefully, beginning with the length of your marriage. If you’ve been married for 20 years, changing all of your professional and personal associations may seem too daunting. However, if you’ve only been married for a few years, a name change won’t be as difficult.

Your career status can also play a significant role in your decision; if you’ve established yourself with your married name, changing back to your maiden name may, unfortunately, erase some of the progress you’ve made. If you have children, this decision may be even harder to make. Having the same last name as your children may help them transition to a new and unfamiliar family life more easily. Ultimately, however, picking the name that you feel the most comfortable with is also a good route to take.

Divorce is a step-by-step process that involves making a long list of decisions, including what to do about your last name. If you need help dealing with the confusion of the divorce process, please contact Cheshire Family Law today at 561-655-8844.

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