Considerations When Changing Your Last Name Following Divorce
In marriage, it isn’t uncommon for a wife to take her husband’s last name. In fact, in recent years, a growing number of men have decided to adopt their wives’ surnames. No matter which spouse agrees to a last name change (or if either agrees to one at all), many consider it to be a symbol of commitment in a marriage. However, what if the marriage ends in divorce? It is possible to revert to your former surname if you wish; however, there are considerations to explore when doing so.
Divorce can be a stressful process for all involved parties. If you are considering reverting to your former surname, it’s important to consider your motivations for doing so and how it may affect you after the fact. Typical considerations include:
- Will it help me move on? If your marriage was contentious or ended badly, you may want to think of changing your last name. The pain and anguish of the marriage will take time to recover from and changing your last name may be the first of many steps to recovery.
- Am I keeping my last name for sentimental reasons? Not all marriages end badly. At times, the decision to divorce is amicable with both spouses still caring for each other despite no longer being husband and wife. If an ex-spouse is still special to you, then keeping the last name is something you may want to consider.
- What about my children’s last name? Oftentimes, the children will retain the last name of the father as long as the mother allows it, despite her changing her own.
- Do I want to go through the trouble of changing it back? As with any name changes, legal steps must be taken to do so. For a person reverting to their former surname, it is often an easy process. Depending on the state or jurisdiction, the process varies.
The aforementioned questions only serve as considerations. Deciding whether or not to revert to your former surname following a divorce is entirely up to you.
Divorce is not always easy, but the San Diego divorce attorneys from the law office of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, are committed to making the process as quick and simple as possible. Contact one at 858.935.6211.
Mike's Top FAQs About Divorce401K plans and divorce
401K plans and divorce
If my spouse waives his right to my 401k plan, is there any circumstance that the court will still award him half or a portion of my 401k plan?
It is theoretically possible that a court can disturb an agreement to waive rights to property, but it is unlikely. Courts will generally treat agreements as contracts, and thus are likely to strike an agreement only if it is unconscionable, induced by fraud, undue influence, duress or is against public policy. The judge cannot “reject,” nullify, or modify the provisions of an agreement merely because of his or her personal belief that a different arrangement should be made.
A marital settlement agreement, or MSA, can be used as a contract between spouses regarding the division of property that would otherwise be subject to community property laws. An MSA is subject to general contract laws, meaning that it can be found invalid if terms are against public policy (which includes, but is not limited to, (a) abrogating the statutory child support duty or impinging on the court’s jurisdiction to award child support, (b) limiting the court’s exercise of child custody jurisdiction, (c) “altering legal relations,” (d) “promoting dissolution,” and (e) providing for “fault”-based penalties at marriage dissolution) . The MSA can also be found invalid if entered into as a result of fraud, duress, menace, undue influence, or other factors which may make the agreement void or invalid. Generally, an agreement such as the MSA is favored. Hence, if there are no legal or equitable grounds for rescission or reformation it is binding on the parties and the court without express approval.
Can I get child support in California if I am not getting a divorce?
I have been separated for two years from my wife, and my kids live with me. Can I get support without filing for divorce in California? We have not been living together since our separation, and even file taxes separately.
You do not need to file for divorce in order to get support. You will need to go through the court to obtain a child support order so you will have to file something. You can contact your local Department of Child support services office and they can help you get started. So while you do not have to file for divorce, you can file for a legal separation. The court needs to know that you two have in fact separated and there is one parent who is the full time provides and therefore in need of support.
Can I move out with my daughter before the divorce in California?
My wife and I are going to divorce, but we have not filed yet. We are always fighting, and my daughter, who is 7, is very stressed with the way we are living. Can I move out with her, if I do not move far away and let him see her all the time? He is not happy with my choice. Is this legal?
Yes, you can move out with your daughter, assuming there are no court orders already in place regarding custody and visitation. It is important to maintain frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent. When the court makes custody and visitation orders they will look highly upon the parent who facilitated contact with the child and the other parent. It is important to make the transition as easy as possible for the child.
Question: Is there a statute of limitations on owed child support?
An ex lover of mine (20 years ago) just approached me out of nowhere about getting tested to see if her son is my child. He is 20 and I live in California. I am trying to find the statue of limitations for child support if indeed I take the test and the child turns out to be mine.
Unless the mother has made a claim for child support with the welfare office or her local Department of child support services office, they cannot now collect from you on child support. Since he is no longer a minor child now that he is emancipated, there are no obligations for child support. You can get tested to see if you are the father, but you do not have to.
If the state has paid out welfare for the child, and it turns out that you are the Father, there can be some potential liability there with having to pay back the state the money they paid out. If this is not an issue, then they cannot now ask you to pay for child support.
Is the opinion of the child ever taken into consideration in a divorce?
Typically the Courts will take the child’s opinion into consideration at the age of 12. There is no set age, it depends on the maturity level of the child. If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference to custody the court can take it into consideration. It is important to note that all judges will rule for what is in the child’s best interests whether it be for the mother or the father.