Returning to Your Birth Surname After Divorce

Even though nobody is required to do so, many female divorcees decide to change their birth surname back in the nearest future. Since it is your personal choice, your husband can neither oblige you to retain his surname nor force you to revert to your birth surname. Just like every story has two sides, renaming yourself also comes with its pros and cons. And before you decide if you should take back your maiden surname, consider the following:

Reverting to your birth surname can help you make a fresh start

No matter whether you are going to get back to using your maiden surname or come up with a completely new one, renaming yourself will let you break ties with your ex-husband once and for all. You have probably taken his name in token of your love and faithfulness, so why not change it after filing for divorce? Divorce by itself means that you two are no longer willing to stay in your marriage and thus everything related to it doesn’t make much sense to you anymore. For you, reverting to your maiden surname may symbolize your self-reliance and the fact that you no longer want to be dependent on your husband neither financially, nor emotionally, much less legally. Once you are divorced, renaming yourself may help you get over your split more easily.

It is a great chance to get rid of an unwanted surname

Decide on the main reason why you want to change your name. While most women believe that changing their names will help them move on faster, others do this simply because they don’t like their husbands’ surnames and thus want to shed them. Whatever your reason, you have probably reached a point where you want to begin a new life with a whole new name.

Truth be told, sometimes, it makes no sense to change your birth surname back and here is why:

If you have a career, you don’t want your clients to get confused

For example, if you have built a successful law career or have become a professional doctor before you decide to change your name, think about your clients or patients who may get confused with your new name badge. If you are a famous artist or public speaker, nothing is different. Take note that if your surname is brand, you should better save it.

Also, if you have minor kids, you may find it more convenient to retain your married name so that you and your little ones share the same surname. However, with a constantly growing number of stepfamilies, having a different surname to your kids is no longer an issue.

Women face lots of fears

Many women decide to retain their husbands’ surnames not because they like them but because their fears don’t let them act in a different way. Let us say, you may decide to save your ex’s surname because you are afraid that the name change process will require you much time and money, or it is not fair to your little ones, or you simply are not ready for another shift. There are many fears you may experience during the divorce process and if this is the case, then you probably shouldn’t make things even worse by starting another process.

 However, if you are not willing to use your husband’s name any day longer, then you should better hurry up until the legal forms divorce requires are submitted to a court. Below, there are three steps you should take to get rid of your spouse’s surname for good:

Produce a name change request

You can either use online divorce services or upload a sample from the Internet to draft your request yourself and include it in your petition or final decree. If you are not sure that Idaho online divorce help is enough and you still feel like speaking with someone about your issue face-to-face, don’t pay a lawyer and better go to your local court. Unlike an attorney who will probably charge you a big prize for consulting you, a court clerk will inform you about the required forms which should be filled out so that you can revert to your birth name legally at no cost at all. 

Make certified copies of your divorce decree

As soon as your papers are signed by a judge, go to a clerk’s office and ask them to provide you with certified copies of the documents. From now on, every time you need to get your married name changed simply produce the copies.

Come up with the list of who to inform about your new surname 

Call your bank, employer, DMV, doctor’s office, state tax department, utility companies, and so on. Don’t forget to change your passport and request a new social security card. Also, think about all legal docs that must be updated, including your will and labor contract.

Authors Bio

Greg Semmit has years of experience working with different types of legal documents and writing about Family Law for educational purposes. Currently, he is working at OnlineDivorcer company, where he writing blog articles about divorce and divorce cases. In his free time, he likes roaming the streets of New York with his Olympus taking photos of the best spots in the city.