Reason #695 why I may never change my last name again.

Changing it back absolutely sucks.

Case in point? Changing my passport over from my married name to my maiden name. Care to hear the story? Here goes…in step by step fashion for your reading convenience 😉

  1. Rifle through piles of paperwork to look for divorce decree so I can get a new passport (which, by the way will cost a whopping $110 to replace since the name change happened more than a year after the name change occurred. Fail #1). Can’t find said divorce decree (fail #2).
  2. Call the ex to ask him if he has a copy. He says I had the only copy (I call BS on that and ask him to look as I guarantee we were both mailed copies!). He looks. Doesn’t find it. (fail #3)
  3. I then call the passport office to see if I can use my separation papers and court filing as proof instead. Nope, has to be the divorce decree. (fail #4).
  4. I contact my lawyer and ask if she can email me a copy. She can (score!) but then reminds me that I need a certified copy anyway and that she can’t provide (fail #5).
  5. I go to probate and family court this morning before work to get said divorce decree (and circle courthouse 4 times before finding a spot. semi-fail).
  6. Security. Asks if I have more than a cell phone in my purse. I say no. The security guard points to the screen and says “what’s that then?” Woops, forgot my camera was in there. I have to leave it there, checked, until I return. (annoying, but not quite a fail, moreso on me!)
  7. I go up to the room to request the appropriate form. I get my file, rifle through and the divorce decree isn’t certified. They send me around the corner to another office to get a certified copy (fail #6 – costs $25. Grr.)
  8. I gather my camera, and trot over to the district courthouse as the passport office said I can get my passport sent in easily that way. I *again* go through security and have to leave my camera (annoying…) and go to the clerk’s office. They tell me they can do it but it costs $25 to mail. WTF? They tell me to go to the post office and mail it myself instead to avoid the cost (nice gesture. and she also helped make sure I had all the right docs and gave me an envelope!). Fail #7.
  9. I go to the flippin post office, and finally, FINALLY mail my passport, with the $110 check plus the cost of mailing ($5.85) for a total of $140.85 to replace my less-than-three year old passport allll because of my name change. Massive fail #8.

The good news? THAT means I can finally book the trip I keep mentioning…M and I are going on vacation together!! Jamaica. Late March. With my sister and brother in law. Hell-bent on booking that sucker tonight now that my passport is officially en route. Bring on the beach, cocktails, sun, relaxation and what I can only imagine will be one hell of a trip. (anyone else feel like joining? Please do! The more, the merrier, in my book!)

~~

This does bring me back to my original point…why I may never change my last name again. For starters, I’m still going with the ‘never say never’ mentality to remarrying (I won’t say I definitely won’t remarry, but I am not sure if I will. Time will tell I suppose) and changing my name? Well…I’m just not sure if I will or not IF I do remarry. Beyond it being a huge pain in the ass to ever change back (not that I am planning on a repeat divorce by any stretch, but I guess it’s also the slight fear/cynicism in me), my name is so ME. I’ve embraced it since regaining it and am not sure I want to change that again. Sure, it’s ‘just’ a name, but after ‘losing’ it, it feels too significant to not at least think about and take heavy consideration into account if I ever come upon that decision again.

It was also weird going through all of the paperwork again yesterday. It all came rushing back. Our initial rudimentary separation agreement that I remember tearfully writing, with my ex sitting next to me. We made that soon after we decided he was moving out and we were officially going to separate. Our official separation agreement and detailed financial statements. And our divorce agreement and paperwork. And lest not forget all of the gory details of the short sale we had to go through. I could barely look at those documents, but the rest, well, the rest just felt like a lifetime ago. And it was. This is now. And it’s amazing.

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42 thoughts on “Reason #695 why I may never change my last name again.

  1. This is why I’m glad I kept my married name after my divorce, I plan to change my name one more time, when I get married again, then never again 🙂

    1. See,my married name had some other issues tied to it that I didn’t wanna keep thus why I changed it back…and we were only technically married for about two years, so it hadn’t completely ‘stuck’ (but juuuust enough for stuff like passports, credit cards etc!).

  2. You forgot: go to your sister’s house to rifle through the boxes of your stuff in her basement to see if the paperwork is there…and get a happy visit from furry friend Henry in the process. 😉

    1. AH! That would have been the best one to add. He was so cute too. He was at the bottom of the stairs and mewed all quiet, like “I know I shouldn’t be down here…but um, hello. Come pat me!”.

  3. I fear I’d be too lazy to change it back… I’d probably have to be REALLY angry to warrant all of that effort. I’ve said it before, but if it involves real pants and going out in the winter, it’s not likely to happen!

  4. yeah, i’m doing all of this right now, while it’s in the front of my mind. i want my graduate law degree in MY name, and i want to be done with being associated with that family. it’s a big symbolic step to take my old name back, but it is ONE HELL of a lot of work.

  5. Ah, fun bureaucracy. I put my divorce decree in my fire-safe box along with my marriage license. I figured it was equally as important.

    I don’t blame you for wanting to keep your name if/when you marry again. You’ve done it once– that’s enough.

    All this hassle will make the Jamaican beach so much more enjoyable. Have fun!

    1. That’s my problem…I have no filing system to speak of. Just in random boxes. SO un-type A of me, too. With the two moves in a year, it hasn’t helped my filing any more either. I need a better handle on that part, clearly!! But yes, worth it for Jamaica!

  6. Bummer about the passport ordeal but maybe it’s a good sign that it’s completely done with and as painful as it was to be reminded of your ex and relationship and divorce, maybe the passport is the last thing you’ll have to do.

    On a brighter note, Jamaica, wow how cool will that be!!! You’ll have the best holiday and perfect travel companions, M, Jess and her hubbie. March isn’t that far away, exciting!

  7. First, your name is awesome! I love it. Second, I would change my name back if I ever got divorced. For me, it would just be a part of moving past the situation.

    1. Haha, well thank you 😉 For me, it was partially about just that, moving past the situation as I felt for me, personally, if I kept the name, I was hiding behind the fact that it signified divorce (and I DO like my last name better, AND since I don’t have kids, I didn’t feel it was worth keeping).

  8. i need to renew my passport in time for my may marathon – thanks for the reminder…and good grief, what an ordeal. glad the trip got booked (saw your tweet!).

  9. My divorce isn’t official yet (soon, I hope!!), but I’ve decided not to change my name back to my maiden name. My ex isn’t particularly happy with it, but whatever. For me it’s a matter of knowing that if I do get married again, I want to change my name. And at this point I’m not feeling motivated to go through the hassle of changing it, only to change it again.

    heh. But that’s all I’m sayin’. :-p

    1. See, I think that’s a great way of doing it, and since you do have kids, I can see that as a reason to keep it too. And, you had it a lot longer than I had my last name (and hmmmmmm….I’m liking the cliff-hanger of sorts…).

  10. I know what you mean! Too much work. I’m still going through it. It’s not just the license and social security card, it’s the bank accounts and credit cards and every stupid little store card. *sigh* Then I realized that I needed to change my PayPal. Still working on that one. I need to haul out and fax the divorce decree. Ummm…I think I know where it is. If I’d just framed it and hung it on the wall like I threatened, I’ be sitting pretty right now. 😉

    Big hugs! And I WISH I could go to Jamaica with you. Not looking good…

    1. YES! all the flipping credit cards are such a pain too. I still have some of those that have my married name on them. Whatever 😉 I wish you could come too!!

  11. You know, I actually feel pretty strongly about this issue for myself.

    I did not ever take Jaime’s name, and I admit that at first I did it out of necessity. I had booked a flight to my company’s annual sales meeting for 2 months after my wedding and I needed my license to match my ticket.

    But after that passed, I just got lazy. I was overwhelmed by how many things I had to change. And so I let it go. I kept my name. And obviously, at a certain point I was glad that I had never changed it.

    Now I feel strongly that it is a part of my identity. EVEN IF I get married again, I am not sure that I want to change it for a number of reasons.

    1. Hey, the laziness paid off in that case, huh? ;-P It does feel part of my identity, and while I am still sticking with ‘never say never’ as of right now, I’m not sure I will change it. At least not legally.

  12. Ive been married 3 times. but never thought to change it back to my maiden. However if #3 doesnt work out I will definately be changing it.

    Even if it is a pain in the ass.

  13. I didn’t give a thought to taking my ex-husband’s name. But you’re right- now that I’ve reclaimed my maiden name, it means a whole lot more to me and I have to agree with you that I would put a lot of thought into it before changing it again. However, changing it back did give me the chance to legally get rid of an awful middle name that I never liked!

    1. Ha! A bad middle name huh? Well, I do like my middle name, but another reason I didn’t like my last name is because it was extremely tied to a specific ethnic culture (without divulging too much), and I’m glad to have me back. Italian! The way it should be 😉

  14. I think you make ALL valid points and if I were in your situation, I’d most likely feel the same way.
    I’m also incredibly grateful that you didn’t admonish women for changing their name in their first place (like some bloggers I know…whom I no longer follow, btw). Honestly, I always hated being a T. I was always last for everything, and I always vowed I would marry an A through L. That way I could be closer to the front of the alphabet. An M through Z was definitely a turnoff. And I think I scored the jackpot with a B. What do you think? Am I complete dork for writing this all out?
    AND JAMAICA?!?!!? omg you are like ms travel queen over here! I would so join, but Eric and I are crossing our fingers for Costa Rica…our budget keeps going higher and higher for that trip…haha.

    1. Yes, definitely am completely 100% open to women who change or don’t change their name. Sure, it’s a pain to change it back, but you never go into a marriage thinking you will have to change it back, ya know? Or at least you shouldn’t or that is just a big ole red flag isn’t it? 😉 (and there are bloggers who are that adamant against the name change thing? I mean really). As for Jamaica…YES! I am so excited. I DO have tons of travel coming up, of course, but this is something we’ve been wanting to do and to be able to go with my sis and brother in law is AWESOME. I hope you get to Costa Rica! It’s on my list too!

  15. It is such a pain in the ass! I still have things in my maiden name. I didn’t go back to my maiden name for that exact reason and I really have no idea if I will change it again when I get married. There really is no easy way to do it and the older you get the harder it gets. That just sounded like hell!

  16. Oh my WORD! I tell you, I’ve heard several nightmarish stories re: changing names, and it makes me so hesitant/nervous to do it! BUT I am SO, so glad for you that you guys are going on this vacation. You certainly deserve it after working so hard and taking on this new job, and this will be the perfect escape!!! (I can try to fit in your suitcase….right??)

    1. Ha-ha! Yeah, it was kind of ridiculous, but to be fair, it was my fault for losing that important document after all 😉 I can’t wait for the trip! And you are tiny, you can totally fit into the corner of my suitcase 🙂

  17. I didn’t change my name when I got married and I’ve been very thankful for that. Sounds like quite the process to get everything changed back around. I’m with you – not sure I’ll get married again, but should I, I’ll still be keeping my name. I am who I am!

    1. I used to think it was weird NOT to change your name when you marry…I don’t think that anymore, yet I don’t know if I will really NOT change it again, if the time comes, or perhaps just not legally. Never say never…

  18. I had a similar issue when I had to replace mine although luckily, I knew where my divorce decree was. Unfortunately I had to pay the rush fee to get it back in time for a work trip. Joy. I think all in all it cost me over $200. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

  19. So excited that you and M are heading to Jamaica! Love that you’re checking off islands from “Kokomo!”

    My mom kept her name when she married my dad. I couldn’t imagine changing my name if I marry. I actually paid $350 to legally shorten my first name. Seems inane to have to pay to do that, but that’s the way bureaucracy works. xoxo

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