How to Change Your Last Name in a Divorce

Divorce contract - The Peck Law FirmDivorce is certainly a tough time for all of the parties involved, and there are many decisions that must be made throughout the process.

One of the more frequently asked questions in my South Carolina divorce law practice comes from women. They typically ask me: “How can I change my last name?”

Perhaps, you have been asking yourself the same question. You may have taken the last name of your husband when you got married. You may have done that for a good reason – a sense of unity, romance, or future children.

Now, you may be considering whether to change your last name as part of your divorce. If you are, you are not alone. Many women resume use of their maiden name after they get divorced. It is procedurally much easier and less expensive to do as part of a South Carolina divorce.

If you have decided you do not want to continue using your husband’s last name after your divorce, you are not restricted to just returning to your original last name. A recent article from The New York Times discusses another option that you have – you could create a new last name for yourself. Your divorce gives you the opportunity to create an entirely different last name that better fits the “new” you. Some women in the Charleston area are already doing this.

As part of your divorce, you can legally change your last name to the last name on your birth certificate, the last name of a former spouse (to match the last name of the children that you had with him), or another last name that you select. In changing your surname as part of your divorce, the only requirement is that you comply with the name change requirements, which are outlined in the South Carolina Code.

Changing your last name could certainly be beneficial in helping you move onto the next chapter of your life. It may also help to remove a constant reminder of your ex-husband. However, it is also understandable if you want to keep his last name. You may not want to deal with the necessary changes on accounts that use that name, or you may want to keep the same last name as your children.

Divorce is a complex process that involves many aspects of your life, your last name included. Choose the last name that you feel is best for your situation and that will help you make your fresh start in life.

If you are considering a divorce and want to know more about how to change your last name, please call me. As an experienced Mt. Pleasant divorce lawyer, I would be glad to help you.