During or after a divorce, one of the many decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not to keep your married name. This decision can carry both practical and emotional consequences, and there are no right or wrong answers. The decision is personal and specific to every person.
However, if you are considering whether to keep your married name or go back to your original name after a Maryland divorce, following are a few things to consider.
- Children. Depending on your children’s ages, it might be an easier transition if you continue using the same last name as them. Having a different last name could cause confusion for a young child, especially at school and among their peers. Of course, there may be situations, like where the divorce is particularly contentious, where a name change may make more sense.
- Your identity. Some people see their married name as part of their identity—the name by which they’re known in their community and social circles. They simply may not want to go back to their old name. Others may want to lean in to an opportunity for change and decide to revert to their original name as a way to start over.
- Career. If you’ve made a name for yourself in your line of work, and your clients only know you by your married name, it may not make sense to revert back to your old name. Past or referred clients may not be able to find you if they don’t recognize your name change, which could negatively affect your professional life.
- Time and hassle. It’s not difficult to change your name, but it can be a bit of a process. There are various companies and entities you’ll need to notify and documents you’ll need to change, including for all government IDs, creditors, and you may also consider changing your social media accounts and email addresses to reflect your name change.
- Privacy. Although typically your close friends and family will be aware of your marital split, some people choose to keep their private lives private. A name change is a public signal of your life change, and you may not want to broadcast that you’ve gone through a divorce.
If you do decide to change your name when you get divorced, talk to your Rockville family law attorney about restoring your name in your divorce decree. There are many other, personal reasons you may want to change your name, and your attorney can help you work out the pros and cons.
If you’d like to change your name upon your divorce, or within the 18 months following your divorce, you must meet three criteria:
- You took a new name when you got married and no longer wish to use it
- You have asked for the name change
- The purpose for the name change is not illegal, fraudulent, or immoral
At McCabe Russell, PA, we want to help you move through your divorce with as little stress and heartache as possible. Our Rockville divorce attorneys fight for your best interests and stand up for you every step of the way. To speak with an experienced lawyer, please call 443-917-3347 or fill out our contact form. We also maintain offices in Columbia, Bethesda and Fulton.