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Should a woman change her name after a divorce?

Women find themselves in a unique position after a divorce. They have the option of changing their name back to what it was before they were married. There is a stipulation, though. This option must be put into the divorce decree in most states in order for a woman to change her name back at a later date.

There are a number of reasons why a woman may want to change her name back, but there are just as many reasons to keep her name as it is. The main reason to keep her ex-husband's name is because of the children. Many women do not want to have a different last name than her children. It can be confusing for younger children. Another reason for a woman to keep her married name is because that is what she is known by in her community. This is often the reason for women who have been married for many years to keep their married name.

Some women will return to jobs they once had before they married and perhaps they had been very successful under their previous name. This could be quite an incentive to change their name back to what it previously was.

There are some women who are so angry and hurt after their divorce that they want to change their name because they want nothing to do with their ex at all. This really isn't the best reason for changing your name. There are other ways to deal with the emotional upheaval that often comes with divorce.

Whatever you may decide now about changing your name, it's best to leave the option open in your divorce decree. Have your divorce attorney make sure it is in the decree, even if you don't want to change your name right now. It might be years before you decide to do so. If the option isn't there, you might have a very difficult time doing so.

Source:, "Should you change your name back after divorce?" Jackie Philossoph, May. 21, 2013

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