There are so many complicated details that stem from the divorce process. Anyone facing a divorce can be overwhelmed by the division of assets, child support and custody issues and a range of other complications.
One of the seemingly smaller details than can be easily overlooked during the divorce process for many women – and for some men, as well – is the name change. It is important to handle the name change process well to minimize the administrative hassle and stress involved.
Over the past 100 years, times have changed significantly. Women have rights and freedom in the workplace and the world that were unheard of a century ago. Included in these hard-won freedoms is the loss of the assumption that a woman will take her husband’s last name when marrying.
Many women keep their own name, use a hyphenated version of their name or find other solutions. In some cases, men take their wives’ last names, and occasionally husbands and wives make up their own new last name.
However, the name-change decision has been trending back towards the traditional approach of women taking their husbands’ names, as reported by the New York Times. Of course, this trend will result in more women wanting to change their names after divorce.
The Best Approach for Name Changes
The best approach is to handle the name change as part of the divorce process. Although there is a lot going on during the process already, handling it all at once will give you a clean break from the marriage, with less lingering administrative details to handle after it is finalized.
Many people choose to wait until after the divorce to get a name change. There are numerous compelling reasons for this choice. However, in most cases, the better choice is to handle the name change on the front end during the divorce proceedings. A name change pursuant to a divorce can be accomplished simply by adding a few lines to the final judgment and decree. If a name change is not done during the divorce, the process is the same as anyone wanting to change their name at any other time. The process requires publication in the newspaper and at least one court hearing. It is much quicker and much less expensive to change your name during the divorce.
If you are facing a divorce, talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. For a knowledgeable, client-centered family lawyer, the name change will be just one of the many details to handle for you in your divorce.