Is there a way to get your ex wife to legally drop her married last name?

We've been divorced for well over 5 years yet she continues to keep my last name. We have 2 kids together and she says the reason she won't change it is because she doesn't want people to think she's a slut when they realize her last name differs from our kids. I've been with someone for a while now to know that I want to marry her, so I really want to get her to drop the last name and take on her maiden name or any other name other than mine. Is there a way to do that legally?


Thanks for the comments, even the judgmental ones. As far as her keeping the name for business, highly unlikely seeing how she never has a job. Secondly, she told me face to face that others' perception of her sluttiness is the ONLY reason she won't change it. Finally, my current girlfriend could care less.

I have considered changing mine to hers, but she's not a fan; she'd rather take mine. I understand where some women who responded take offense, but you have to understand her. Thanks again for the positive feedback!

23 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    how petty and ignorant..

    Nope u cant force her to change her last name.. you need to grow up.. do u go around tracking people down with the same last name as u and tell them they need to change their name because u feel u own the name? what a loser u are to be so petty.. I have kept my married last name of my x husband, and trust me it has NOTHING to do with him, it has every thing to do with my kids, i dont view it as HIS last name i view it as my childrens last name.. u need to get over yourself..

  • The key points are in your question... she is YOUR ex-wife and it is HER last name.

    So the answer is no, you can't force her to do it. Yes you could have negotiated it in the divorce but aparently that's water under the bridge and it is very valid that- especially given kids- she wants to not go through the hassle of changing it back after all the trouble she had to spend to do so when you got married.

    Have you thought about when you get remarried just taking your new wife's name instead? Then you and your wife will no longer have the same last name and I'm sure after going though all the paperwork you'll appreciate why she wants to avoid doing it again if at all possible.

    You and wife #2 also have the option of hyphenating your last names together, although I don't recommend that since its long and messy. But its an option you can consider.

  • M S
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Nope. A friend who remarried, then divorced her second husband, went back to her first husband's name after her second divorce. She wanted her name to match the children's while they were in school. All perfectly legal, and done all the time. She remarried, again, and hypenates first and third hubby's names.

    A friend is divorced from his slut wife, who had another man's child when they were married, kept his last name, and went on to have 2 more children, also not his, but they have his last name because she didn't change her last name.

    So sorry!

  • E&L
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Your past is just that . . .you can not deny you were once married and have two kids by that woman. Her last name, whatever she chooses, should be of no concern to you, nor it cause any confusion in your town since most are well aware of your divorce.

    Sorry, but at this point the only thing that may get her to legally change her name is a payout. Her name is her choice, and in the future, if she also meets someone and wants to marry them, she may change her name at that point.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    To my knowledge, I don't think there is anything you can do.

    However, I just want to comment because I disagree with everyone telling you that you are wrong for feeling this way. I felt the same way when I got divorced. My family name is something that I am very proud of & we in my family have a code of ethics that we follow. My wife lives a lifestyle contrary to our family's ethics & I don't want someone going around tarnishing my family name.

  • 10 years ago

    I have to ask what the big deal is?

    When I got divorced I kept the married name because it was the last name of my kids. It really made things easier for the kids and other people who deal with them on a day to day basis. When I got remarried the kids chose to take on the last name of their step father because their real father was no longer in their life.

    You are really making a big deal out of nothing. People who know you know you are divorced and people who don't know you don't know that you were ever together. Just let it go for the sake of everyone.

    Your EX wife is MS. (the kids last name) and your next wife will be MRS. (your first name) (your last name)

    The good news is eventually she will move on and her last name will change when she remarries too. :)

    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No you can't do anything. If you marry unless your new wife has the same first name it won't make a difference. Remember a name is just a name. She has the right to keep her name if she wants, I can understand where she is coming from.

  • bejay
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    It seems to me that it should have been put in the divorce decree. There may may a lot of reasons why she still uses your last name. Business being one. If people with position know her by that name then it would only make sense to keep it. I'm sure if the truth be known she really probably doesn't want to use it. It however does make a lot of sense that she would want to have the same last name as her children. If it bothers you that much why don't you change your last name. Idiot.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    No, there's no legal way. All ex wives say the children are the reason but there are millions of women who never changed their names to the husband's name and consequently have children with a different name and no one thinks they are sluts. It's just a provocation to rub in your face. Your mistake was letting her know it mattered to you. Forget her. She's an ex for a reason.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    you could have had it put in the divorce papers for her to legally get her maiden name back, that's what i did because i didn't want his last name stuck on me for the rest of my life but i don't think there is anything you can do about it now maybe she will remarry and take his name for hers. why is it bugging you so much anyway? and you say your girlfriend don't care about your ex still having your last name so just forget about it don't borrow trouble about this its not worth it

  • No, there is not...the name is hers legally and she can NOT be forced to change it, the courts can not order her to change it.

    What she says is a common reason why divorced ladies do not change their last names..I kept mine while the kids were growing that they are adults and I have remarried, my name is now that of my current husband's.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.