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Should You Keep Your Ex-Spouse’s Last Name after Getting Divorced?

When a couple gets divorced, the parties to the marriage often face difficult decisions over how to handle division of property and other assets, spousal support, and other issues. One issue that typically doesn’t get a whole lot of attention is whether to keep your ex’s last name or return to using your old surname.

This highly personal decision may not have significant financial implications, but it does affect divorcing spouses on a personal level. The Huffington Post recently published an article about the issue of whether to keep an ex-spouse’s last name and discussed the matter with readers who had chosen to keep their ex’s last name after finalizing a divorce.

Some of the most commonly cited reasons for electing to stick with the name of an ex-spouse after divorce included the following:

  • Keeping the married name “felt more grown up.” One respondent said that her maiden name was associated with her youth and childhood, while her married name was what she had gone by since becoming an adult.
  • The children need consistency after a divorce, so keeping the married name was important for helping the kids get through a difficult situation. Additionally, sticking with a married name can allow the divorcing spouse to maintain a symbolic closeness with their children.
  • Changing a last name can negatively impact a person’s career. For people working in certain fields, suddenly changing their name can make it harder for them to be identified by potential clients.
  • Some divorcing spouses feel a sense of ownership over their married name. One respondent said that her married name belonged to her as much as it did to her ex-spouse.

To learn more, check out the Huffington Post article, “11 Arguments for Keeping Your Ex’s Last Name after the Divorce.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process, you should speak with a qualified family law and divorce lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled, knowledgeable family law and divorce attorneys at Graziano & Flynn, P.C. have decades of combined experience helping people to navigate the NJ divorce courts. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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