Those who get divorced often wonder if they should keep or change their legal names. Everyone who gets a divorce should take into consideration a few factors before deciding what to do about their last name.
Many parents prefer the same last name as their children. This may help the children get through the divorce easier. Plus, those who keep their married last names do not have to change their information at the child’s school or pediatrician.
Someone who has built their career under their married name has good reason to hesitate before making a change. If their name is part of their brand, switching to a new name could affect their business. The same is true if the name is recognizable or holds prestige in the community. On the other hand, if the ex-spouse’s family members have done something to mar the family name, letting go of it could be an advantage.
A divorce is overwhelming, even under the best of circumstances. Some would rather not add a ton of paperwork to the mix. For instance, changing back to a maiden name will involve getting in touch with companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. If this is going to add to the complexity, it may be something to worry about later rather than on the heels of the divorce proceedings.
In the case of a divorce between two people who agree on most things, one may be unmoved to change their name. In fact, they may feel connected to their ex-spouse, even though the marriage did not work. The ex-spouse might also like sharing a last name, if not the rest of their lives together.
If one’s emerging relationship is heading down the aisle and they plan to take a new last name, changing back to the maiden name for a short period of time would be unnecessary.
After debating the topic of whether to change one’s name, it is helpful to understand the process to be prepared on what to expect. First, the individual will need several forms of legal identification and a copy of the divorce decree. If the divorce decree does not grant the power to change one’s name, they can either ask to amend it or file a name change petition. Many individuals consult with their original divorce attorneys to make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible.
If you are interested in changing your last name during or after divorce proceedings, the Chester County divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. Our team will work through the name change paperwork, including filing amendments and petitions, if necessary. Call us today at 610-565-3700 or fill out an online form to set up an appointment. Located in Media or West Chester, Pennsylvania, we represent individuals throughout Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Chester County.