Deciding whether or not you’ll keep your ex’s last name after divorce is a highly personal choice.
Some want to ditch every last reminder of their ex, including the surname, while others say leaving the last name behind is a little more complicated than that. Below, HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers share why they decided to keep their ex’s surname.
1. My married name felt more grown up.
“I married fairly young, at 24, so I viewed my maiden name, Spike, as the name I had when I was a young kid. I associate Spike with who I was as a child, a teen, a college student. But Sommercamp, my married name, feels more like my ‘grownup’ name so I kept it.” ― Susan Sommercamp
2. I kept it for my child’s sake.
“I kept it only because I wanted to have the same last name as my child. Now I think of it as her name.” ― Tina Dee
3. Me, my ex and the kids are still part of the same team, with the same jersey.
“It never occurred to me to change my last name. I was dealing with quite enough identity challenges as I navigated new labels. Like the marriage license, there were only two names listed on the divorce decree. Why bring my former single self into it? My single self made the decision to get married. The woman facing me in the mirror with a different last name made the decision to end it. There were practical reasons, of course, like my complete disdain for paperwork. At a more spiritual level, it was no longer his name anyway; it was ours and it still is. Unlike everything else, we certainly couldn’t divide it 50/50—I’ll take the S-I-R and you take the L-E-S. We didn’t each take a kid. We are still the same family team, home game or away, married or divorced. Everyone kept their jersey.” ― Theresa Sirles
4. It’s my professional name.
“I’d go back to my maiden name but for one, I have young kids and two, I have built up a clientele and get lots of referrals from my married name. I started hyphenating my last name to include my maiden name. Once the kids are older, I’m going to drop my ex’s name.” ― Kait Christine
5. I kept it to avoid the shame.
“Let’s face it, divorce is an enormous failure. There’s shame that comes with it. For six years after my divorce, I chose to limit my shame exposure by not changing my name. Yes, my friends and family knew about the divorce, but there’s a wider circle of people in our lives that didn’t know about it. I didn’t want to share my humiliation with the periphery because of the pitying looks people give you when they find out your marriage has collapsed. I wanted to continue to see the faces of respect and admiration that I received before the death of it. Did my clients and professional associates need to know about my failure? Did my children’s teachers have to learn of my inadequacy? Was I a lesser professional and parent because of it?” ― Sandra Vischer
6. It’s easier to pronounce than my maiden name.
“It’s less difficult to pronounce than my maiden name, it’s the same as my kids, and even if he did remarry, as the first wife, I will always have more meaning with that name.” ― Jude Bone
7. The last name belonged to me as much as him.
“When my ex and I split, he requested I change my name back to Beery because he wanted no association with me aside from our children. He also thought I could honor my father and brother in the process. I refused on principle. After 13 years, I was no longer Jessie Beery, I was Jessica Tevaga: the warrior, the giver, the woman that endured hardships and never gave up. I realized that my full name didn’t belong to him, it belonged to me. I thought changing it back would give into the idea that women were somehow owned by their husbands and when the marriage ends, wives are no longer branded by them.” ― Jessica Tevaga
8. Changing it back is a total hassle.
“I hyphenated my name after my divorce! I never realized how many government, personal and social media accounts I had until my divorce. To avoid discrepancies or confusion among the various documents, I simply re-added my maiden name to anything that carried my married name. It was a lot less of a hassle than changing everything back solely to my maiden name.” ― Kathy Monsefi Kaveh
9. I’m still part of my ex’s family.
“My last name represented so much more than my ex-husband. It represented family. My father-in-law was one of the best men I knew and I loved him as my own. My last name meant love, not just in marriage but for family.” ― Sara Jo
10. I kept it because my ex and I are still friends.
“With my first husband, I kept it because we had no animosity from our divorce. He is still one of my best friends. I kept it for ten years until I got married again.” ― Jennie Contreras
11. I kept it because I didn’t want my kids to go through what I went through growing up.
“I kept my married name for two reasons: When I was growing up my mother had a different last name than me and she always signed my school papers with her name and ‘mother’ in parentheses and I hated it. Also, my maiden name is Hall so my name changed by one letter when I got married. I’ll go through the process of changing it if I ever decide to get married again.” ― Dawn Hill