Not a criticism. I’m just curious.
When my ex and I divorced, she asked me if I’d mind if she used my name for a while. I didn’t care, and she did until she got settled down and established. Then she went back to her maiden name (do we still call it that?).
But I’ve known women who were adamant (nasty) about their right to do so. Even if the guy didn’t care one way or the other. On the other hand, I’ve also known guys who were just as nasty about the ex not keeping his name.
Is simple convenience usually the reason, as it was with my ex and I?
I’ve only been married once, so my own experience is limited.
I’m curious about hyphenated names too, but that’s way too complicated.
BTW; I’m old.
Not a criticism. I’m just curious.
Children are a big issue. Most kids have their father’s last name. After a divorce, they would typically keep it. The women often want her last name to match those of her kids which is practical and understandable.
I think alot of it depends on; length of the marriage, the bride’s age when she married, and whether kids are involved. Or she could be know proffesionally under her married name like Lucy Lawless or Angela Merkal and not want to change it after her divorce.
When my Mom divorced her fourth husband she changed her surname back to her first husband’s (my biological father’s) name–a name she had briefly in her late teens and early twenties. She plans to keep it for the rest of her life, and though she has no interest in a relationship with my Dad, she also has no animosity toward him. She had bad feelings about all the alternatives, including her maiden name, so she went with the neutral option. Dad thought it was a little odd but I sort of understand. Some people don’t want to be reminded of where they came from.
Any adult can change her/his name to anything they desire, as long as there’s no fraud. You can get a driver’s license in your new name, but you do have to cop to the old one if you had a license with it.
My mom divorced more than 26 years ago, when I was just six years old. She has always kept her married name. As I recall, it was mainly to cause less confusion for me as a child.
When I divorced, I quickly changed back to my birth (maiden) name. I never felt comfortable giving up my birth name to use his but when I got married there wasn’t much choice. Women took on hubby’s name automatically. I still can’t figure out why we did that (or why a woman today would choose to do it). It speaks of “ownership” to me. I guess I’m not the marrying kind.
My son kept his father’s name and it has never been an issue. He never asked about it, but I felt compelled to explain that I use the name I was born with and he uses the name he was born with. I don’t understand how this is even an issue for some people.
My (ex) MIL kept her ex husband’s name when they divorced. Not only did she still have young children she wanted to share the name with, but she’d been married for close to 20 years - half her life. Going back to her maiden name after so long would have been difficult.
I changed my name back as soon as my ex and I separated. We had no kids and were only married five years. Even so, it took a little while to get used to using my maiden name again.
- I’d often go to sign things and go a little blank.
*It was a pain going around and notifying everyone of the change of name, and there are still one or two things I haven’t done (like my passport, because that one’s going to cost me and I haven’t needed it so far).
My co-worker, who always used to call me Mrs B, now fumbles awkwardly when he speaks to me… I guess Ms T doesn’t have the same ring to it, and he hasn’t quite gotten used to the idea that I’m not Mrs B.
I’ve had to reintroduce myself to a lot of people I’d met during my marriage, and while it’s delightful telling people you have a new name because you got married, it’s rather awful in reverse.
When I go somewhere I haven’t been in a while, I struggle to remember what they know me as. I have to try to figure out how long it’s been since I was there last so I can take a guess at what I’m filed under, because I HATE saying “Oh, it might be under my other name”. It’s not like changing it the first time, because then I would say “Oh, it must still be under my maiden name” and everything was peachy. Now everything pre-2002 and post-2006 is under one name, and everything in between is in another.
I kept mine because it goes better with my first name than my maiden one did.
A friend of mine back in the early 70s had one of those huge names that started with a “K” and ended with “ski”. When he married, he took his new wife’s name. Stuart, I think it was. I don’t remember. Did I mention I’m getting old?
Very “out there” for the time. The clerk even tried to tell him he couldn’t do it. She was wrong. This was in ultra conservative Bakersfield, CA.
I wonder if they’re still married.
My ex tried to be nasty about me changing back to my maiden name, but I wanted to keep his name, at least for now.
We have kids, for one thing, but it’s also on all my professional certifications, so it’s partly out of laziness and not wanting to have to change all my certs, which is a massive PITA.
If I were to get remarried, I’d change it.
I kept my first husbands name as we have children together so it just made things easier. When I got married the second time I took his last name and still have it even after we were divorced.
I thought about changing it back to my maiden name but it is just such a pain in the ass with all the paperwork that I gave up on even thinking about it.
Lets not forget the name its self,if Mary Dunggobbler married Bill Steel she might want to retain her married name after divorce,but if Mary Steel married Bill Dunggobbler…
Like others have mentioned, I think a lot of women keep their married names so as to have the same last name as their children. Length of marriage is also a factor, I imagine. If you married young and have been identified by your husband’s name for pretty much your entire adult life, it may seem silly to revert to a name that was last “you” when you were a whole different person.
I probably wouldn’t bother to change my name if I divorced, for the exact same reason I probably wouldn’t bother to change my name if I married. It seems like an unnecessary pain in the ass.
A woman I know kept hers. She’d had a son with her ex-, and when the boy was a year old or so he had to have open-heart surgery. After her divorce, she wanted to make sure that if he had heart problems again, there would be zero chance of hassles from changing her name back.
Hassles=admission problems at the hospital, insurance company not paying off because they glitch on different last names sometimes, etc.
Later she met another guy and wanted to remarry…but keep her name from a previous marriage. This went over like a turd in a punch bowl. She now has his name and a child with him. Had husband 2 tolerated her decision, her second son would probably wonder why mommy has a different last name.
What happens in these situations with Hispanics and people from other cultures where married women do not automatically take their husband’s surname?
Amazingly, there has never been a law that women had to take their husband’s names. It has always been custom. This was not discovered until the 1970’s, when women started keeping their own birth names.
As was posted above, a person has the right to use any name they want to, provided it is not for illegal reasons. Pure and simple.
Speaking as A Woman Today, I (and my sisters) plan to take (or already have) the theoretical husband’s name because
A) the family name is decidedly un-euphonious
B) we don’t exactly have the best relationship that side of the family anyways.
(Besides, I never quite understood why taking your husband’s name was considered being meek and subservient, but keeping the name your father imposed on your mother was striking a blow for feminism …)
I kept my own name when I married, and when we had a son, he got MY last name.
I am sure there are people who see that my son and I have the same last name, while my husband/his dad has a different last name, and they incorrectly assume that our son is mine from a previous relationship and his dad is his stepdad.
Bottom line: Who cares? It is no one else’s business. They can assume what they want, but if they know the family, they will know the actual facts. If they don’t know us well enough to know, their opinion couldn’t possibly matter to any of us. And, in fact, if my son’s biological dad WAS his stepdad, so what?
As much as I would like to tell everyone else exactly what they should do with their names, I know it is none of my business. People should do what works for them, and everyone else should do them the favor of not judging them for it.
I had a horrible maiden last name (Pitts) and when I married and gain a decent one (Hall), I decided I liked it. So, when I divorced after 4 years of marriage, I kept the last name. Both Hallgirls had the same last name, so it kept it easy. Later, when I had Hallboy, he carried my last name, which was still Hall, even though his father’s last name is NOT Hall. (His father and I were never married and he had nothing to do in Hallboy’s life, and I wanted our last names to be the same. Once again, it makes it easier.) My ex sputtered something once about how I couldn’t give Hallboy “his” (the exs) last name, but I knew I could have named him Hufflemeyerski-boy if I wanted, as long as there wasn’t an attempt at fraud involved.
I decided that if I remarried while Hallboy was still in the house (unlikely), then I would hypenate my “new” last name, Hall-Newlastname, until Hallboy was out of the house. However, seeing how he’s 14 and I don’t date, remarriage seems unlikely in the near future.
My maiden name was so horrible, I never ever considered reverting to it after I’d divorced. My father once said something about reverting to my maiden name, and I believe my response was along the lines of, “You’ve got to be kidding.”