The topic of changing one's last name after marriage comes up a lot around here, and for good reason: It's a big decision and it can be incredibly time-consuming to make it happen. As it happens, I'm getting married next week (surprise!) and when our homies over at Maidenchange asked me to test drive their Standard name-change kit, it couldn't have come at a better time. Soon, I'll be sporting my (significantly shorter) new last name and will have barely broken a sweat doing so. Clean Break– Dropping your ex’s name lets you make a clean break and get a fresh start. Dating– Some women feel like keeping their ex’s last name might hinder them when they re-enter the dating world. Career– Some careers require licenses and certifications that are a huge pain to change.
Even if one or both spouses don’t feel ready for mediation, when they consider the financial and emotional stresses and costs of contested divorces, they may decide to give mediation a go. Mediation allows a resolution based on what the spouses agree is fair rather than what a court decides is appropriate or expedient.
The mediation process can help the spouses avoid future conflicts by improving communications between them. All that’s necessary for the mediation to succeed is for both spouses to be willing to negotiate and to compromise. The process usually starts with an interview or phone call to brief the mediator about the marriage, the family, and the issues. Mediation, flexible and confidential, lets spouses settle conflicts in a way that helps them work cooperatively as parents afterwards. A spouse represented by an attorney may wonder whether the attorney should attend mediation sessions.
After the mediator goes over the fundamentals, both spouses make short statements about their marital situation. The next step is to find out where the spouses agree and where they need to come to an agreement. When actual negotiations begin, the mediator may suggest dealing with simpler issues first. Negotiations are not always strictly linear, but the mediator helps them maintain direction while encouraging the spouses to express opinions and positions and to listen to each other carefully to make resolution more likely. Understanding isn’t necessarily concurrence, but with clear understanding may come new ideas about how to resolve issues.
When negotiations reach a solution, either the mediator or an attorney drafts a formal agreement and sometimes a parenting schedule or plan.
The Association for Conflict Resolution and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts also maintain convenient online connections.
They should be sure to get referrals for divorce mediators specifically, not mediators generally.
Opponents argue that no-fault divorce can allow a party who has violated the marriage agreement to file for divorce without the judge knowing the full scope of the situation. Since the judge would be unaware of the breach of contract, a no-fault divorce actually protected the party at fault.

Regardless of opinions, a no-fault divorce lets spouses divorce for just about any reason, and this legal tool isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Yolanda Foster attends the Global Lyme Alliance 'Uniting for a Lyme-Free World' Inaugural Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 8, 2015 in New York City.
There are forms to fill out, materials to get replaced and potentially huge wait times at the DMV or Social Security Office, two places where you likely have to actually make a physical appearance to make the change (check yo state for specifics).
Unlike my first marriage, I've decided to take my partner's last name legally and move my current last name to my second middle name (y'all, my name is about to get EPIC).
Created by a husband and wife team who found the process to be overbearing, Maidenchange helps alleviate a lot of the hassle and headache. Every situation is different, so ultimately you need to just do what’s best for you and don’t worry about what others are doing or saying.
For many women, a fresh start and an opportunity to reinvent themselves is exactly what they need.
If this is the case, a divorce is an opportune time to shed the unwanted name and re-embrace your family name.
While there isn’t a ton of evidence to support this notion, if you feel like the old name is weighing you down, change it.
Changing your name does involve some paperwork and waiting in line at various government agencies. Doctors can have a hard time changing their name on their medical license, and if they have a private practice built on their married name, it’s even harder to rebrand the practice. When you’re going through a divorce take time to weigh all the options and do what’s best for you.
When the decision is mutual, spouses usually can work together on a settlement more easily than they would when the decision is one-sided.
If the spouses accept the reality of permanent separation, and if neither has a strong desire to reconcile, then both probably have reached the emotional point where mediation can succeed.
Spouses who want to remain friends can use this reason to get through difficulties in negotiating compromises during mediation. The spouses and their lawyers in some cases hire a neutral third-party mediator with whom to discuss and resolve issues. Even if there is a history of domestic violence in the marriage, they should not reject mediation out of hand but consider it carefully, though they should realize that the mediator can’t order either spouse to do anything, and anyone who wants to delay can abuse the process by stalling it. They should not reject mediation and give up before they begin just because their views clash over particular issues.
Then comes the first meeting where the mediator explains what to expect from the process and assures the spouses that there will be no disclosure of what goes on in any later court proceeding. The mediator may ask some questions to amplify or clarify what they say or may restate it to be sure everyone understands the main points accurately. Quick resolutions of easier questions fosters confidence in the process and encourages compromise on more complex, difficult issues.
The most important things to do to make mediation succeed are to be open to compromise and to try to understand an opposite point of view. Efforts to understand encourage reciprocal efforts and make more likely a resolution that works for both spouses after each understands what is important to the other.

These documents become parts of the judgment of the court and therefore enforceable, but enforcement is rarely necessary. If the judge knew the filing party had violated the marriage contract, it could affect the judge’s ruling in regards to alimony and child support. I'll still go by my maiden name professionally, because I've accomplished so much under the moniker, but it's important to me that my family share one name.
I simply filled out a form on their site and they sent me a handy dandy package with pre-addressed and stamped envelopes, a checklist and all the forms or instructions I need to get this show on the road. Not all women go back to their maiden name, and for many the decision to keep their name is really stressful. Make sure to take time to talk with your children about the options and listen carefully to what they have to say.
You’d be surprised how many women don’t want to change their name because they don’t want to deal with the hassle.
They need not rule out all possibility of reconciliation but must be prepared to focus on what happens if they don’t stay together. Where there should be quick decisions about support, child custody, or whatever, a court may be preferable. Mediation is a versatile process and many cases that seem incapable of resolution manage to reach settlements if both commit to making the process work. The mediator helps them identify any information needed and if appropriate asks each of them to agree to provide certain items for needed information as soon as possible. Parties follow and abide by mediated agreements because they are voluntary, and their terms are for that reason agreeable to all concerned. Spouses representing themselves first should ask for recommendations from friends and associates they consider trustworthy who have been through divorces. Last, they need to contact the referred mediators and question them about their policies, practices, and fees until they find one with whom they feel comfortable and confident. Proponents also say a no-fault can help victims of domestic violence quickly get out of an abusive marriage without having to face their abuser in court. What the mediator may and should do, however, is to invite or direct attention to matters that both spouses should keep in mind about what they want to accomplish. Adherence rates for a mediated divorce are actually much better than a standard court ordered divorce.
Packages start at $29, which isn't a whole lot of skrilla considering the sanity you'll be saving.
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