If you assumed your spouse’s last name at the beginning of your marriage, you may be thinking about switching back after your divorce concludes. In Florida, a judge may restore your previous name in your final judgement of dissolution of marriage. You may then use the divorce decree to notify financial institutions, government agencies and others of your new legal name.
While Florida law allows you to restore your previous last name as part of your contested or uncontested divorce, it does not require you to do so. Answering three relevant questions may help you decide if returning to your former surname is the right decision.
Do you have children?
If you have children, they may have the same last name as your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Having a surname that is different from your children’s may be awkward for you. Likewise, your kids may simply want their last names to match yours.
Do you have an established career?
Your clients and other professional contacts may know only know you by your married name. The college degrees and professional licenses you hang on your wall may also have your current last name on them. Either way, changing to a previous name may cause confusion, at least temporarily.
Do you like your existing name?
As the adage goes, a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. Still, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the sound of your married name or preferring your current surname to your old one. If you are happy with your existing name, there may be no good reason to change it.