If you are contemplating divorce and you took your spouse’s last name, you may be asking yourself, “Should I change my name back to my maiden name?” If you’re wondering what to do, we’ll tell you that divorcing spouses ask this question all the time and there is no “right” or “wrong” answer because it’s very personal. Before we dive into the “how,” let’s explore the reasons for and against changing your name after a divorce.
Reasons to Keep a Married Name
Here are the main reasons why divorcing spouses decide to keep their married names despite the divorce:
- The person wants to have the same last name as their children.
- The person doesn’t want to have to explain why they have a different last name than their children, nor do they want to explain their divorce.
- Professionally, the individual has built a brand around their last name and doesn’t want to go through the hassle of changing it.
- The individual simply likes their married name better than their maiden name.
- The individual doesn’t want the headache of changing their name on all of their accounts.
Reasons to Restore a Maiden Name
Divorcing spouses usually choose to restore their maiden name for these reasons:
- Their marriage was stressful or traumatic and they cannot change their name fast enough. This is common in cases of domestic violence.
- They prefer their maiden name to their married name.
- Their marriage was a big mistake, and they want to go back to their maiden name as fast as possible.
If you wish to change your name back to your maiden name, it’s actually quite simple in Florida. Under Florida law, spouses can restore their former names in the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. However, if you desire to go back to your maiden name, you must ask the court. To do this, you submit a request to restore your former name in the original divorce petition, or through the counter-petition for dissolution of marriage.
Please note that the family court can only restore your former name to the name you had immediately before this marriage. If you wish to change your name to anything other than the name you had just before the marriage, you’ll have to take other steps.
To learn more about changing your name as a part of your Florida divorce, please contact our firm to meet with a member of our divorce team.