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posted in Divorce

on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

Many women in Connecticut choose to take the surname of their husband when they tie the knot. This has been commonplace for years, but when a divorce occurs, some want to change their names to its previous form. This can occur during the divorce process or some time after, depending on the type of name change a divorcing woman desires.

If she wants to change her last name back to her maiden name or a surname she obtained during a previous marriage, she may do so during the divorce process. If the final divorce decree includes a clause that indicates the wife’s desire to change her name to one of these prior states, she may do so.

According to data, about 800,000 divorces occur in the U.S. each year. This means that 800,000 women have the opportunity to return to their maiden names. More statistics, these from a 35-year study published in the journal Social Behavior and Personality, show that the percentage of women keeping their maiden names after getting married hit its peak during the 1990s. During that time, nearly a quarter of married women chose to leave their last names unchanged.

By 2000, that percentage had decreased to 18 percent. According to researchers, the choice to keep a maiden name is influenced by professional and educational status of the woman. The rate at which women do so fluctuates from region to region: 4 percent of women in the Midwest and 20 percent in the Northeast.

Any person that chooses to change her or his name should be wary of the many different groups that will need to be contacted. These include but are not limited to the following: Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, passport office, schools, post office, employers, creditors, utility companies, financial institutions, insurers, as well as friends and family.

Individuals that want to change their name to something it has never been before may do so by filing the proper paperwork with their state.

Source: Washington Times, “What’s in a name? Changing your name after divorce,” Myra Fleischer, Aug. 28, 2012

Tags: divorce, maiden name

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