Changing names after divorce

I met a customer for breakfast this morning who I haven’t seen since March. It had been quite a while due to chaotic scheduling, not to mention that she moved apartments, and her actual office location moved boroughs. Our events marketing team had invited her to a few events with no response, so they reached out to me in the summer to see if I could ¬†encourage her to come. She never responded, but when she finally did just last month, I noticed her name was different. I didn’t want to say anything because I wasn’t sure what happened, plus she never mentioned anything about getting married the last time we saw each other. I think that definitely would have been a conversation topic. My colleague insisted she must have gotten married; why else would her name change? So I figured I’d bring up her name change at breakfast.

So I did, and she laughed and actually said she got divorced five years ago, but she dragged her feet on getting her name changed back. She knew it was going to be ugly and painful, and she pushed it off for as long as she could. All of the paperwork, the fees, even the order in which you change your name for different purposes (you have to prioritize your passport before your driver’s license, apparently) matters, and if you mess it up, it only prolongs the process. “If I had to do it all over again, I never would have changed my name,” she said, rolling her eyes. “And now, every single time I send an email out from my work email, people keep congratulating me, asking how my wedding went when it’s actually the opposite!”

That is just so awkward – a constant, very public, in-your-face reminder that you got divorced. I cannot imagine having to be asked that as often as she has bee. That experience in itself must be excruciating when you don’t even deal with the legal paperwork.


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