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Should You Drop Your Ex's Last Name After You Divorce?

One woman is not happy her fiancé's former partner is keeping his name.

After her split from David Foster, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster changed her last name to Yolanda Hadid, saying she wanted to go back to the name she shares with her three kids. Kris Jenner swears she's going back to Kris Kardashian. Nothing wrong there, but not everyone is eager to switch back to their old name following a break up.

One upset woman who took to a mommy advice blog to moan about her fiancé's ex-wife keeping his last name was met with a barrage of insults telling her to grow up. Writing under the name Orangecookie on Mumsnet, she wrote that the woman's choice made her “feel weird” and asked for feedback.

“I didn't know this would get to me, but it just does,” she wrote. “My DP's [darling partner's] ex-wife still has his surname, and they have kids. He divorced a while ago but we are not married. She does contact him a lot to get him to do stuff like fix shelves, a bit less so now. She sends his inlaws cards for their birthdays and Xmas always signed ‘from the X family.’ Maybe I should just get over myself and not think about it. But it makes me feel like she is still in my DPs family unit more than me. We will marry at some point but the thought of taking his surname also makes me feel weird, like I'd be wife number two! Anyone else feel annoyed? Or am I just getting wound up over nothing?’”

But she didn’t get too many posters who sympathized with her, with one posting, “really can't see the problem here.”

Another wrote, “She wants the same surname as her children. It's as much her name now as your DP's. When you and DP marry you will be his second wife. “It's best all round that she gets on with your DP and his relatives.” 

Yet another posted, “It's her name too. I've had my married name for as long as I had my maiden name. It would be weird to change back and would be annoying professionally.”

But who is right here? Should you be expected to change back to your maiden surname when your ex partner remarries? If it's hyphenated like Kim Kardashian-West, do you just drop it?

Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore agrees with most of the people who posted, and tells Personal Space that Orangecookie is being petty.

“Oh, please. This woman needs to get over herself,” she says. “It’s perfectly fine to keep your ex’s last name until you get re-married. And even then, some women still keep their ex’s name, and that’s just fine.”

Jacqueline’s own mom chose to keep her ex’s last name until she died because she never remarried and she wanted to have the same last name as her children. 

“I’m very proud of her decision,” she says. “This is a personal choice and we must respect the person who is choosing to keep or change her name. Besides, it’s a pain to change everything, including driver’s license, passport, etc. But that’s just my two cents!”

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