Going through a divorce obviously causes you to change your lifestyle in several ways. One lifestyle change that women often have to go through is changing their last name. Not all women go back to their maiden name, and for many the decision to keep their name is really stressful.
There are several pros and cons to changing your last name after a divorce. Every situation is different, so ultimately you need to just do what’s best for you and don’t worry about what others are doing or saying.
Pros of changing your name
Clean Break– Dropping your ex’s name lets you make a clean break and get a fresh start. For many women, a fresh start and an opportunity to reinvent themselves is exactly what they need.
Choosing– This may sound petty, but some women just don’t like their married name. If this is the case, a divorce is an opportune time to shed the unwanted name and re-embrace your family name.
Dating– Some women feel like keeping their ex’s last name might hinder them when they re-enter the dating world. While there isn’t a ton of evidence to support this notion, if you feel like the old name is weighing you down, change it.
Cons of changing your name
Children– If you have children, changing your name back can get complicated. Children can struggle with the idea of a new identity. Make sure to take time to talk with your children about the options and listen carefully to what they have to say.
Paperwork– Anytime the government gets involved, things get frustrating. Changing your name does involve some paperwork and waiting in line at various government agencies. You’d be surprised how many women don’t want to change their name because they don’t want to deal with the hassle.
Career– Some careers require licenses and certifications that are a huge pain to change. Doctors can have a hard time changing their name on their medical license, and if they have a private practice built on their married name, it’s even harder to rebrand the practice.
The decision to change your name should not be taken lightly. When you’re going through a divorce take time to weigh all the options and do what’s best for you.