Many women want to change their name back to their maiden name. Think this through carefully. If you have children in school, it can be very confusing and uncomfortable for them and their teachers if their mother suddenly has a new name. If you had a short-term marriage, and no children, or grown children, it is usually very easy to change your name as part of the divorce. In fact, many states have a box to check on the court forms indicating that the divorcing wife will return to her maiden or former name. If you change your name pursuant to the divorce there is usually no extra cost and no extra burden.
If you want to change your name because you are angry with the spouse that you are divorcing, go beyond the anger and think of the ramifications. If it will be detrimental to your career (you are known well as a business woman with this name) or it will hurt your children, then consider those issues. Also, it will be very important to change your name with the credit-reporting agencies, social security, the IRS, the state tax authorities, your professional associations etc. If the change will not hurt you or anyone else, and it is a name you like, go ahead in change it; if you didn’t like your maiden name, this may be a time to create your new “stage” name.
Mari Frank is a divorce attorney who practices divorce mediation in Laguna Niguel (Orange County), CA. She has been featured on numerous national television shows including 48 Hours, Dateline, NBC Nightly News, and The O’Reilly Factor and in newspapers across the nation including the L.A. Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.