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Should you go back to your maiden name after your divorce? What is the “right” thing to do? Really, it’s up to you. Regardless if someone decides to keep their maiden name or keep their married name, they always have their own reasons for doing so. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons people choose to go back to their maiden name, and keep their married name.

Reasons Women Go Back to Their Maiden Name

Some women go back to their maiden name simply because they like it better, because it sounds better when it’s rolled off the tongue, or when it’s read. Burnham or Butts? London or Lindquist? Duffy or Dresmond? Conrad or Chutspeck? Wolfe or Beaver? Sometimes, the maiden name just looks so much better on paper.

If the marriage was bad, or especially physically abusive, women tend to be eager to go back to their maiden names because they don’t want to be reminded of their painful pasts. Even if their maiden name is less pleasing, they may be in a hurry to go back much like they’re in a hurry to erase all evidence of their abusive spouse from their home.

Sometimes going back to one’s maiden name is all about independence and getting a fresh start. Women feel as if going back to their true selves will make them feel whole again.

Reasons to Keep a Married Name

Some mothers choose to keep their married names because they want to have the same last name as their children, and not have to deal with a spray of questions like, “Are you divorced?” or “Why do you have a different last name?”

Sometimes, the choice to keep a married name has more to do with business than anything else. For example, if a woman has built her whole career or her brand around her married last name, it may be too much of a hassle or risk to make the switch. Of course, the hassle alone can be the driving force behind staying put for some women, especially if they really don’t have a problem keeping their married name.

If you’re a woman who’s getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, and you wish to go back to your married name, we can explain how to do that by filing a notice to resume your maiden surname, which can be filed before or after the divorce is finalized.

Next: 6 Tips for a Great Divorce

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