Part 2: Should you change your name after divorce?

| Jan 8, 2021 | Divorce

Regular readers of our Orange County family law blog will probably recall a recent post about how people who changed their names in marriage can effectively confront the question of what to do with their names in divorce.

Some individuals who took their spouse’s last name in marriage (or appended it to their own) can’t wait to discard it when the marriage ends, while others wouldn’t dream of changing the moniker they’re known by in the community and in the office.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the questions compiled by CPA, tax advisor and Forbes contributor Heather L. Locus to help those working their way through a divorce decision about their name.

“How do you feel about having a different last name than those of your kids?”

Would a last name different than your kids’ name make you feel more connected to them or less?

“How important is your name to your professional reputation and future livelihood?”

Think hard about this question if you’ve worked years to earn a professional stature using your married name. Consider whether part of your financial future will be tied to how easily someone can find you with a Google search.

“Do you have the bandwidth to go through the formalities and hassle of making the name change?”

Legal matters such as name changes involve red tape, time and your attention. Are you up for that?

“Is remarriage on the horizon?”

If you might remarry, consider what you’d want to do with your name then, and how that might be affected by a change of name now (or the absence of a name-change).

“Is your spouse making your post-divorce name a negotiation issue?”

Locus notes that “a court won’t and can’t force” a name-change on you, but your divorcing spouse might want to make your name a part of divorce negotiations for emotional or financial reasons. Before you decide on a course of action, discuss these matters with your family law attorney.