The Tale of The Two Missuses

Maiden name – Changing Your Name After Divorce

Do you think women should have the choice of whether or not to remain with the surname of their ex-husband after a divorce? What happens if they choose not to go back to their maiden name? Jessica Anderson tackles these questions in her first legal segment of Love Court for 2023 on the Alice 96.5 Morning Show.

The Context 

A guy recently got remarried and posed an interesting question to Jessica. After marriage, his new wife decided to take his last name. However, even after the divorce, his ex-wife has chosen to remain with his last name. This is currently causing problems between him and his current wife who is irritated by the fact that the ex-wife still has his last name. Moving forward he wants to resolve this issue by getting his ex-wife to revert to her maiden name and wants to know his options.

The Answer 

Jessica answers by explaining right off the bat that no one can decide someone else’s last name. Though the ex-wife chose to change her name as a consequence of marriage, there are no legal grounds for getting her to change it back to her maiden name after the divorce. At the same time, she understands the frustrations and why it could be irritating to the new wife knowing that there’s “another missus out there.” 

So in short, there’s no legal basis or way for him to force his wife to go back to her maiden name. Nonetheless, she offers additional words of advice based on past cases which may be helpful for some persons out there.

maiden name

Let it go! 

In her experience as a divorce lawyer, Jessica references the situation above as pettiness. She stated that she advises clients against this type of behavior, for example fighting over personal items worth less than five thousand dollars unless it’s pretty sentimental. As she explained, that’s because it usually costs more to pay a lawyer to fight for such items than count them as lost. In other words, let it go! 

Special Announcement

Coming soon, Jessica‘s law firm, Anderson Keuscher PLLC, will be offering divorce coaching sessions for those who want to avoid going to court and need advice post-divorce.

Got a Burning Question?

Don’t Hesitate to Ask! 

You can pose a question to be answered on the Love Court by visiting or if you need more information and want to come in for a consultation, then call (775) 823-0049.