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Should You Keep Your Ex's Last Name After Divorce?

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Should you keep your ex’s last name after the divorce is final? That’s like asking: Should you keep the wedding rings? Should you remove your former mother-in-law’s number from your contacts? Should you remove your former spouse from all of your social media accounts? In reference to keeping your ex’s last name, that’s a very personal choice and there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to go about it.

If your spouse was physically abusive, you may want to ditch their last name no matter how much better it is than your maiden name. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve personally-branded yourself with your ex’s last name, and getting rid of the name may be somewhat complicated. Below are the main reasons why divorcées tend to keep spouses’ last names despite the breakup.

1. I want to have the same name as my children.
More often than not, people keep their ex’s last name because they want to have the same last name as their children. Not only do they want the continuity, they don’t want to have to explain why their children have a different last name for years to come.

2. I don’t like my maiden name.
Leak or LaCoste? Spoorknoff or London? Brandon or Butchblock? Deerhorn or Wolfe? What’s in a name? For some...a lot. Some people don’t change their name after a divorce simply because their ex’s last name sounds so much better than their maiden name.

3. I know it angers my ex.
For some divorced spouses, they feel as if keeping their ex’s last name is their way of having the last word. While we don’t necessarily condone this logic, we can’t ignore the fact that this is one of the reasons why people don’t change their name back after a divorce.

4. It will be easier if I remarry.
When someone goes through a divorce and they intend to remarry, keeping their ex’s name is less hassle. Why? Because, once they remarry, they will have to change their last name all over again. So, the train of thought is, “Why go back to my maiden name if I’m going to have to change it again when I remarry?”

5. I have a professional brand around the name.
In this day of branding, a name can be everything. So, if a spouse’s professional name includes their ex’s last name, they may NOT want to mess with it. Otherwise, changing their name can negatively impact their followers, their business, and their bottom line.

6. Changing it back is too much work.
A lot of people don’t change their last name after a divorce simply because it’s too much of a hassle. They don’t have hours and hours to spend filling out Social Security card forms, changing personal data on bank and credit card accounts, and changing their name on every financial account and policy they have.

So, what should you do about your spouse’s last name after your divorce? It’s up to you. You have to listen to your gut and do what’s best for you. There is no wrong answer.

Need a San Diego divorce lawyer? Contact us today for a free consultation.


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