Many individuals get married and cannot wait to become the new “Mrs. So-and-so”. They go through the process of legally changing their name, and flaunt it around like the new rock located on their finger. While for many, this decision is easy, the process of legally changing a name becomes quite difficult when going through a divorce. People wonder if they should keep their ex’s name, or go back to their maiden name, or even just completely start over with something different!

While it is most common for individuals to revert back to their maiden name, it is becoming more common for individuals to choose a new last name. Kelly Utt-Grubb, a family-naming expert explains some other alternatives include picking a grandmothers last name or the last name of a close relative. Some individuals hyphenate their new last name or pick a combination of names. Kelly says, “The new name is really a reflection of frame of mind and starting fresh”.

The name-game gets even more complicated when there are children involved. Many wonder if they should change their child’s last name as well, or if they should hyphenate it. A child’s last name could lead to great confusion. If the parents name is different from the child’s, when there is an emergency it can lead to potential difficulties.

How to minimize issues when changing your name


It is important to inform everyone when the change is made. This includes schools, organization, associations, doctors, insurance and health providers, family members, postal service, business associates, and anyone else who is applicable. Be sure to inform everyone to eliminate confusion and glitches. For some places, such as a child’s school, it is a good idea to provide supporting documents.

Talk to Family and Friends

A good step is to include loved one. This way they can offer support and dodge the awkward surprises.

Be Ready for Opinions

Some individuals may not understand the position taken when choosing a new name. Traditional values are often deeply entrenched in individuals. Be prepared for these opinions, and talk with those who are voicing them.

Follow Up

After the change has been made, it is important to follow up to make sure places have made the change as well. Contact the various contacts and offices to be sure the name was changed correctly. This avoids confusions.

Speak up Immediately

Often times, due to insecurities, people remain silent when they are wrongly addressed. Kelly suggests when individuals’ address you incorrectly speak up and remind them of the change.

When choosing a new last name it is important to choose correctly. Once the choice has been made, embrace and accept the choice.

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your divorce case today.

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