Should You Keep His Name?

This post is dedicated to all the ladies of Riverside who took a man’s last name, divorced, and don’t know whether they should keep the new last name. And thanks to recent law changes, all the guys who are in the same boat.

In an interesting new trend, many women aren’t going back to their maiden name or keeping their married name—they’re choosing new last names. That name may be a maternal grandmother’s name or another relative important to that person. It’s a reflection of what matters and a symbolic way to truly start over.

Going back to your maiden name can feel like moving backward, and keeping your married name can feel like being stuck in something that didn’t work. So it does make sense why many women, post-divorce or separation, are choosing entirely new last names.

That being said, it may not be the wisest choice for everyone. Think of all the documents, the confusion, and the questions you’ll get. Realize that when your last name is different than your kids’ there are a thousand processes that will naturally be harder.

Here are a few tips:

  1. No matter what your name is, inform everyone. Make a long list of all the people, organizations, companies, etc. that need to know your legal name. Check them all off quickly.
  2. Talk to your friends and family. It’s your decision, but it can be nice to get feedback. It’ll also lessen the blow if it’s an unwanted surprise.
  3. Make a choice and stick to it. Once your name is legally changed, make sure people know and request to be called only that.

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