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Pros and cons of keeping your married name after divorce

Changing your name back to your maiden name after a divorce is a surprisingly controversial subject with those on both sides having strong feelings on the matter. It's asked as part of almost every divorce settlement where one or both party changed their last names after the marriage. In the end, this is a personal choice, but there are some pros and cons to be aware of as you make this decision.

Many people choose to return to their previous name after a divorce because it can feel like a final step toward splitting from the other person and reclaiming your identity. This choice may also be more popular with those who had especially tumultuous marriages, did not have children together or were married only a short time.

Others, however, choose to keep their married name even after the divorce to ensure they have the same last name as their children or for the sale of consistency. For those who are well-known in the careers or fields, changing a last name can decrease visibility and cause confusion in client referrals. Some people also choose not to change their names so they don't have to go through all of the paperwork with the state and federal governments and financial institutions.

While all of these points are certainly worth considering, it's important to note that there is no legal repercussions to changing or not changing your name. Today's society is familiar enough with divorced or never married parents that a different last name than your child is no longer as much of an issue as it used to be for educational or medical purposes. If you do decide to change your last name after a divorce, your attorney can give you guidance on how to make this official in the Florida courts.

Source: Huffington Post, "Should You Keep Your Ex's Last Name After Divorce -- Or Ditch It?," Brittany Wong, Jan. 28, 2016

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