How do I change my name after divorce?

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Deciding to use your spouse's last name when getting married might be an easy decision, but deciding whether to keep it following a divorce may be more difficult. Following a divorce, many adults elect to change their name to facilitate a fresh start in life. Whether your goal is to sever as many ties from your former spouse as possible, or if you are on the fence about the decision, the following are just a few things to consider before deciding:

  1. What's your motive? Make sure that whatever decision you make is because it is what you want to do. Maybe you want to switch back to your maiden name to reclaim your identity. Perhaps you keep your married name because you feel more comfortable with it. Whatever the reason, be certain that the decision is for you.
  2. But what about the kids? Many parents worry that having a different last name from their children might be upsetting and cause confusion. Communicating a name change with their school's faculty and activities leaders can help to prevent confusion and just talking to the child about a name change might help them to understand your decision.
  3. Do you have a reputation? Many people who have established a business under their married name may elect to keep it for the sake of recognition. Conversely, you may wish to change your name back, especially if you haven't worked since the marriage and plan to return to an industry that would only recognize your maiden name.

There are a variety of factors that go into the decision to change back or keep your married name. Often times, clients choose not to change their name because they believe it will be a long and complicated process. Changing your name in Pennsylvania is not difficult, and family law firms like Notaro Epstein Family Law Group, P.C. can help to simplify the process. Each circumstance is different, and ultimately, only you can make the decision whether to change or keep your married name.


  • Five Tips if You Changed Your Name Due to Marriage or Divorce. (n.d.). Five Tips if You Changed Your Name Due to Marriage or Divorce. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.irs.gov/uac/Five Tips-if-You-Changed-Your-Name-Due-to-Marriage-or-Divorce
  • Pilossoph, J. (2013, May 21). Should You Change Your Name Back After Divorce?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-pilossoph/should-you change-your-na_b_3312025.html
  • Should You Keep Your Ex's Last Name After Divorce? Readers Weigh In. (2013, October 26). The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/26/last-name-after-divorce_n_4164839.html
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