Many, if not most, woman change their last name at the time of marriage to either replace or hyphen it with their husband’s name. In the event of divorce, the woman has the choice to either keep her married name or to reclaim her pre-marital name. Some men do not like the idea of their ex-wife keeping the marital name. We often get calls or other inquiries looking to get a court order to prevent the ex-wife from using their last name.
Some think the wife’s name is automatically changed upon divorce and that the woman can’t continue to use it. This is incorrect.
Some think that continued use of the name is confusing to third parties and an annoyance. This may be the case, but unless the ex-spouse is taking affirmative actions to misrepresent herself as a continued spouse for credit or other illicit purposes, there ex-husband will just have to bear it.
There are several legitimate reasons why a woman may choose to keep her married name. The biggest and most common is so that she can share the last name of any children born of the parties. Another is the fact that she may have established herself in her work life with her married name and does not want to lose any good will or good reputation she has acquired. Some just prefer the married name to the premarital name or have come to identify themselves with their married name and have no interest in having a “new” name. Last, keeping the married name eliminates the need to change all financial, work, vital statistics, and other records, as well as all the personal notification requirements that changing one’s name would entail.
The choice is totally up to her and the husband has no control over the matter. This would be the same if any man that changed his name upon marriage.
At the end of the day, whether a woman keeps her married name at the time of the divorce or not, she can always change her mind – and her name – at a later date. This is true of anyone; man, woman, married or not married. A quick trip to the local probate court, filling out a form and paying the applicable fee can result in a name change for just about anyone.
If you need assistance with your divorce, please contact us for a free phone consultation.
Family Law Lawyers serving Danbury, Connecticut and all of Fairfield and New Haven Counties.