Should You Keep Your Ex's Last Name After Divorce -- Or Ditch It?

Such a tough call.
To change or not to change?
EHStock via Getty Images
To change or not to change?

If you took your spouse's last name when you married, deciding on whether or not you'll keep it after divorce is a difficult, highly personal decision. Some women feel that reclaiming their maiden name is a way to shed their identity as a married women -- others consider their married surname too strong of a link to their children to change it.

Below, readers on Facebook share why they felt compelled to keep -- or change -- their surnames after divorce.

1. "I didn't until a year later. My daughter will always be my daughter, no matter what our last names are." -- Robin Epstein

2. "I always thought if I had a chance to gain back my maiden name that I would in a heartbeat. But now faced with filing my divorce papers, I see that his last name is just as much mine, as it is his. I worked hard as a wife and mother, all the while proudly bearing my name. It is the name that saw me through a tumultuous marriage and parenthood. I may not want to be his wife any longer but I do want my last name.It's part of my identity now." -- Samantha Patrice

3. "I changed mine back. I didn't want to keep his name. I actually never wanted to take it; I had always wanted to keep my maiden name. However, I was young and he persuaded me. I am so thankful I changed it back -- I feel so much freer without him or the name." -- Marla Meltzer

4. "No, because I have a kid and I have been known by my married name all of my professional life. I won't be reverting back to my maiden name." -- Lisa Andrews Holt

5. "I did change it. I wanted to be my single self again after being hyphenated during my marriage. Besides, he was engaged just a few months after our divorce; there were enough Mrs. XYZ running around the same town." -- Deborah Fitzgerald

6. "I knew in an instant when faced with the question on my divorce papers: I wanted 'me' back. I didn't want his name." -- Debbie Liles

7. "I completely rejected the idea of being 'fulfilled' by 'restoring' my maiden name. I have four kids and I will bear their same last name until the youngest daughter changes hers." -- Melissa Carpenter Fustos

8. "Yes, I changed my name back after we separated after 25 years of marriage. Fortunately we didn't have children. If asked, I would encourage any woman contemplating marriage to keep her birth name." -- Shirley Persson

9. "Getting my name back was like returning home to a hot shower after years stranded on an island -- I had to wash every bit of residue off. We had four kids during that marriage who have his name, of course, and it doesn't make me any less 'their mom' to have a different last name than them." -- Rachel Lee Jouma

10."No, I didn't, I have kids and this makes school and medical stuff easier. Plus, I'm lazy and it just seemed like a whole lot of work, new checks, new everything with my name. A name is just letters -- it doesn't define me." -- Jessi Ann Bigler

11. "I changed it. I was going to keep my married name for my kids but I just didn't feel like me. It wasn't my name, it wasn't my family, it is his. When my kids asked why my name was different (they noticed at Disney World since we were asked the name on the reservation at every restaurant we went to), I told them I have the same last name as my dad, just like they have their dad's last name. That answer satisfied them." -- Rachel Ives

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