What's in a name? Why I decided to change my name after divorce

What’s in a Name? Why I Decided to Change My Name After Divorce

Six months ago I separated from my husband, and one of the (many, many, many) things to enter into upheaval was my surname. To change or not to change, that was the question.

“Will there be a name change?” glared at me from the papers I received from my lawyer. My knee jerk was reaction to the query, “Of course not.” I mean, why would I? Apart from what I assumed would be a mountain of expense and paper work, it didn’t really seem like a big deal. Still, I slept on it. And in the morning I felt completely different and very conflicted. My 23-year-old self had been champing at the bit to change my name when I got married, I was so eager to please. But now at 36, I find myself in limbo.

I no longer want to wear my ex’s last name, nor do I feel like the girl whose maiden name I once bore. I thought briefly I’d just leave it as is, then, if I ever remarried I would change it. I could take another person’s name. Again. But what about my children?  Would they feel strange about still being Gray’s while I wasn’t? Shouldn’t I have the same name as them? What about travelling with kids and different monikers? As you may have noticed, I still struggle with the people-pleasing bit.

So I’m making a decision for me, and whatever will be will be. There are heaps of parents who don different last names than their children, divorced or not. I want a name that will be mine. A name that I am proud to wear, and that I will not change at all, ever again (Zoe Saldana is kind of a hero for me right now). In the end I’ve decided to go with Graham over Gray.  It’s a family name, it sounds enough like my kids’ last name, and I feel like it is a step in the “becoming more me” aspiration that I want to model for my poppets.

What do you think? What did you do?

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Alicia Graham

About Alicia Graham

Alicia Graham is thenewfamily.com’s web editor. She’s a writer, social media maven, mom of two, and she lives in the tiny ski town of Rossland, B.C. You can find her on Twitter as @aggraygate and Instagram as @aggraygate. View all posts by