Name Changer

Monday, October 26, 2015

When I got married, I was excited to change my last name. Not because I didn't love my maiden name but because my ex and I were building something together. And since we wanted kids - we wanted our little family to all have the same last name. It took some getting used to but my new last name was shorter and goes along with my first name pretty well! I got a promotion at work right around the same time I got married, so it was like I was building a new identity as my clients all became used to my "new" name. But now that I'm facing my divorce, I've decided to return to my maiden name.

I remember the day that I went down to the Social Security Administration building, with my civil union paperwork in-hand. I went by myself, on a free day I had. I walked up to the booth and when asked why I was changing my name, presented my paperwork stating that I was legally tied to another - and I wanted to take her last name. I had no issues and after getting my new SSN card, I promptly made my way, by myself, to the DMV to change my driver's license as well. I was excited, but also overwhelmed with all of the documents and companies that needed my updated "new" name. But I did it all - by myself. Two short years later, the tables have turned and I had a decision presented to me if I wanted to return to my maiden name or continue with the name I took during marriage.

For a moment, I thought I'd keep my married name since the twins' will keep my ex's last name. When asked if we wanted to hyphen it or talk about changing their last name, I dismissed that thought. My maiden name is 9 letters long and Serbian (read: super European) - all of the letters rhyme when trying to spell it out. It's kinda hard and I didn't want my girls to have to switch from an easier name to a more difficult name - especially if we hyphenated. Nightmare. Plus, I'm the biological mother. Nothing will ever change that. They are part of my DNA. My ex, however, is the adoptive mother and I feel like having the girls keep her last name was another little part of her the girls could have. We are still sort of a family, after all.

But for me - it's getting my identity back. I'm the last remaining family member in our tree with our last name (besides my dad and uncle). I'm the only "kid" with the family name. And even though we found out that my dad was adopted (so my Serbian last name doesn't even have much direct family heritage related to me), it's part of my identity. So, once my divorce is finalized, I'll find myself returning to the Social Security office, walking up to the booth and presenting a different kind of paperwork. I'll make my way to the DMV by myself and get a driver's license with a name that I possessed for 30 years. I'll update all of my contact information and I'll be teaching my clients that I have a new/harder name for them to remember ... but it would be just like I was married, only reversed. There might be some explanation that goes along with that - that "No, I'm not married - actually, I just got divorced." But I'm ready for it. And I think I'm ready to return to "me".

Taking Yourself Back: How to Change Your Name After Divorce in your 20s - Trash The Dress  #divorce #namechange #trashthedress:
I've been asked if I get re-married, would I change my name again? My mom married twice and took her husband's last names each time. With her second divorce, she stuck with hubby #2's last name, opting not to return to her maiden name. On the flip side, I actually know a lot of married couples that kept their own names - so no "family" name. I don't know what I'd do if I re-marry, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping my maiden name forever. :) If you have been divorced, what did you do with your last name?

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