Traditionally, when two people decided to get married, it was usually the woman who changed her last name to that of her new husband’s. In modern times there are more options; some people keep their last names, some couples hyphenate and use both names, and some people adopt their spouse’s last name as the family name. For those who have gone through a name change for marriage, the question of what to do when divorcing can be tricky. Should you keep your new last name or change it back when you get a divorce? There are many good reasons why you may not want to make a change to your name.
Identity is one of the biggest factors in the decision not to change names after a divorce. If you have established yourself in your career with your married last name and achieved recognition with that name, you may worry that your career could suffer after a name change. There is also a tremendous amount of paperwork involved with changing your name legally – your social security card, driver’s license, passport, and bank accounts, will all have to be updated. Likewise, any documents like deeds, car titles, and wills will also need to be changed.
Family identity is important to many people too, and if you have children who use your partner’s last name then you may not want to change yours in order to maintain consistency within the family. It may also be easier on your children not to have to process both the divorce and a new last name for one of their parents at the same time.
If you change your last name you will have to formally alter any bonds, leases, credit cards, and other financial arrangements you have signed on to while married. This will bring your divorce to the forefront to those of whom you may prefer to keep your personal business private.
Perhaps more importantly, you should never change your name thinking it will help you avoid creditors or criminal prosecution. Courts can be very thorough about checking to see that a name change is made for a good reason.
Name Changes and Divorce Decrees
No one can force you to change your name, but if for some reason you do want to change your name because you are getting divorced, be sure to have a name change order written into your divorce decree. Otherwise, you will need to petition the court afterwards for a name change order, which can be time consuming and expensive. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer can help you achieve your goals without missteps.
Towson Maryland Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Offer Experienced Counsel During Divorce
The end of a marriage is a stressful time and the compassionate Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you resolve your family law matters quickly and reasonably. Call 443-589-0150 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation or contact us online. We have offices located in Hunt Valley and Towson serving satisfied clients throughout the state of Maryland, including those in the areas of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.