Should you change your name, or your kids’ names, after divorce?

| Jan 18, 2021 | Family Law |

During your divorce, one thing you started to think about was that you’d be able to change your name back to your maiden name. This, to you, makes your split final. However, since you have children, you’re not sure if it’s a good idea to do that. Their last names are the same as their father’s, so should you change it to your maiden name? Should you leave your name the same?

Whether you choose to keep your child’s name, or your name, the same after your divorce is up to you, but there is no specific standard. Some parents do change their children’s names, though.

How can changing your children’s names after divorce be helpful?

If you will be changing your name back to your maiden name after your divorce, one option may be to have your children take on a hyphenated last name. This can be helpful by eliminating questions about whether you’re related to them in school or other circumstances. For example, a woman with the last name “James” but who has children with the last name “Christianson” may find that there is often confusion about whether she is the mother, aunt or other female figure in their lives.

A good alternative in this situation is to hyphenate the last name. So, instead of being Milly James, for example, the child could be Milly Christianson-James. Then, when the father with the last name “James” arrives or the mother with the last name “Christianson” comes to the school to pick up her kids, there is no question about their relationship to the children.

This is just one thing to consider if you’re thinking about changing your own name after your divorce. No one has to change any names at all, but if you want to, then hyphenation could be a good option.

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