Huffpost Women

Should You Keep Your Ex's Last Name After Divorce? Readers Weigh In

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The only question more loaded than whether or not you'll take your husband's last name when you marry? The decision to drop -- or hold onto -- that same surname if the two of you end up divorcing.

That's the issue New York Times etiquette columnist Philip Galanes took up on Thursday, when a man wrote in complaining about his ex-wife's continued use of his last name, in spite of the fact that she's remarried.

"The divorce was awful, and aside from discussing our children’s needs, I minimize communication with her. It irritates me that she is still using my name," he explained. "Is there a rule about this?"

Galanes' response? Aside from politely asking the ex-wife if she's considered losing his last name, there's not much this irritated ex-husband can do.

"Traditionally, it’s lady’s choice for good reason," Galanes wrote. "Your ex-wife may have developed her professional reputation using your name and may not want to confuse colleagues or clients by changing it, or she may want to share the same surname with your children."

Those issues have certainly played a part in many HuffPost Divorce readers' decision to keep their ex's last name. On Friday, we asked them to share with us why they felt compelled to keep -- or change -- their surname after divorce. Scroll down below to see what 13 women had to say, then head to the comments and weigh in with your thoughts on the matter.

Did you keep your spouse's last name?

1. "Yes. After 19 years of marriage, that last name was my identity, with or without him." -@THETammySuydam

2. "I kept my ex's last name in order to have the same last name as my daughter who also asked for that." -@MIMIBVAVAL

3. "No, the divorce was to dissolve the relationship. There was nothing left, I didn't want the name either." -@DawnKA

4. "I invest in something for 20 years, damn straight I'm keeping it. That, and IMDb." -@tihemme

5. "I plan on reclaiming my maiden name. I'm reclaiming my life and I want the name to match who I becoming. My kids are teens and completely understand my choice." -Peggy R.

6. "I kept it for the first year because it is my children's last name. Then the ex married again and I felt like there were two of us in the world. I thought that I should go back to the name I was born with, so I did. I plan to die with that last name. No more name change, no more losing me in someone else." -Tanya H.

7. "No, I went back to 'my' name. It was my declaration of independence." -@MommaDonnaL

8. "I did because I wanted my name to match my kids. Didn't want them to feel like I was divorcing them." -@livmom00

9. "I kept it so as not to confuse my kids and friends -- and to irk my ex when he had to write his child support checks and to annoy wife #2." -enndarling4u

10. "Yes. I did not want my estranged father's name back. My ex's last name is much more fun, exciting, and exotic." -@love_the_game

11. "No. At the time I was proud to share his name, but now it's an embarrassment to me because of his bad choices." -Stephani S.

12. "It's too much of a process to change names. It's how I'm known professionally and I think it's less confusing for my 3-year-old." -@alison_lauer

13. "I use the hyphenated version at the kids' schools, but only then." -@creolekittykat

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Related on HuffPost:

9 Divorced Celebs Who Kept Their Partner's Surnames
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