CHANGING your name to your new beau's after marriage is pretty easy — you either adopt and start using the new name informally, or present your marriage certificate to most places, and voilà, you have a new name!
Changing the name back after divorce or separation isn't quite so easy. This is because when a woman changes her name in marriage, it permanently becomes her identity by adoption and this can only be changed back legally — either by remarriage or a deed poll. While some institutions will effect the change with a copy of the decree absolute, it's an uphill battle with others.
What do women do with their last names, that they'd changed to their husbands', after divorce?
I kept it because of our children. I wanted to maintain some sort of uniformity, and some semblance of normality that would come from all of us having the same surname. It certainly helps when I have to fill out forms, and when we travel together. I already had an older child with another last name before I got married, so imagine me taking all the kids somewhere and listing all the different last names if I had changed mine back.
I kept my first husband's name, and changed it to my second husband's after I remarried. Both names are better than the one my sperm donor father stuck me with, and I'd never want to go back to that association with him.
I had a double-barrelled name, and I just dropped his and started using back my maiden name. The married name is still on formal documents though.
I kept it, because it sounds exotic, and I will always be the first Mrs S. I know it probably ticks off my ex-husband and his wife, because even after I got remarried I didn't change my name to my second husband's.
I didn't have time to go to the tax office to change over my documents after I got married, and thank God I didn't have the time! Although I had been signing my name and calling myself Mrs Him, legally the change hadn't been made, so when we parted, I could erase every memory of him without going through any of the rigmarole of changing back my name.
I did a deed poll to change back to my maiden name. Even if I do get married again, I would never take another man's name. When I first got married I changed my IDs, bank accounts and every other thing over to my married name, and it was hell getting them changed back. Some places would not accept my divorce papers, while some did, so I just did the deed poll.
I kept the name because it was just easier. In hindsight I should have just added his name to mine, and then I could easily drop it, but I totally changed my name and just can't bother to go back through that stress. Plus it's easier to have the same last name as our daughter, especially to avoid the judgemental stares from people at her school.