Why Would a Divorced Woman Keep her Married Name?

Why Would a Divorced Woman Keep her Married Name?

A divorced woman may retain her married name for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Hassles involved in changing the name on the Social Security  card
  • Hassles involved in changing the name on financial and other records
  • The name change may affect some women emotionally
  • Moms want to keep the same last name as their children

Many women in a very short-term marriage prefer to change their name back to their maiden name immediately after divorce because in such a marriage perhaps a woman still identifies herself by her maiden name and many of her friends and acquaintances may not even be aware of her married name. So, changing back to the maiden name may not be such a big deal.

However, as a marriage passes through the years, people start recognizing the woman by her married name, which sticks to her career and social life. After divorce, she may weigh the hassles associated with the name change. After weighing the pros and cons, a divorced woman, who is recognized by her married name, may decide to keep it for the following reasons:

Changing the Name on the Social Security Card is Time-consuming and Annoying

Making a name change in the Social Security database can be a laborious and time-consuming bureaucratic process that is weighed down by a lot of paperwork. After passing through some red tape and changing the name on the Social Security card, the woman has to change her name with agencies such as the IRS, credit reporting agencies, etc., who have her old number on their records. Each agency has its unique procedures and regulations on how to deal with a name change, and these procedures may cause undue time delays and headaches, especially if she has a different address (which is very likely after a divorce).

The work involved may not be expensive, but it sure takes a lot of time and can be supremely annoying.

Changing the Name on Financial and Other Records is Yet another Headache

After changing the name on the Social Security card, the woman needs to make trips to the courts on working days to obtain certified copies of the marriage and divorce decree, get in touch with her creditors, and submit the documents to the appropriate authorities/utility companies and financial institutions so that her name is changed on her bank accounts, credit cards, driver’s /other licenses, passport, and many other necessary records.

If she is a well-known professional in her field, then the name change may end up confusing her clients.

She also has to register her new name at her child’s school and her workplace. Plus she has to update her beneficiary forms and inform everyone else who matters, and that can be a long, long list.

Emotional Impact

Changing the name may make her feel like she is no longer connected to her child, who may be carrying the family name. Also, if she keeps her married name, it may provide the child with a robust emotional anchor by eliminating the social chaos associated with the child’s family name being different from the mother’s name.

Then, some women get emotionally attached to their married name and feel that it means a lot to them, even though their ex-husband may mean nothing.

Moms Want to Keep the Same Last Name as their Children

Divorced moms would also like to keep their married names because it helps them stay emotionally connected to the names of their children. Plus, it is convenient when it comes to signing any documents for the child. It also helps the child feel connected to his family.

Well, it takes all sorts to make a world, and so, there will be women who want to ax their married name so that they get a fresh start and there will be women who do not want to give up their married name because it means something to them and changing it will disrupt their social existence.

To wrap up, women should think through how the name change will impact their life. If their married name stirs up bad memories, they may consider changing it. If changing the married name will cause a lot of hassles and emotional instability, they may consider keeping it.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
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Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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