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Family law: When a woman wants to keep her married name

When a couple divorces, there may be something a former wife wants to keep that makes her former husband scratch his head: his surname. There is no set rule in family law in Alberta that says she can't do that, but if it's a bone of contention, the man can always make it a part of the divorce agreement. If a man is adamant he doesn't want his former wife to keep his surname and yet she wants to, he may have to make some concessions to get her agreement.

There are several reasons a woman may wish to keep her married surname. Usually if a couple has been married for several years, her last name may be a part of her professional identity that she doesn't wish to relinquish. If the name is well-known in social circles, that could be another reason she would choose to keep it, rather than revert to her birth surname.

In any case, a woman is legally entitled to keep her former husband's surname after divorce. If a man is uncomfortable with that, he may get some guidance from a lawyer about what he might do to make her change her mind. She could be open to having help in legally changing it back to her birth name.

There are many issues that are wound up in family law in Alberta. A lawyer who is experienced in these issues may be able to help a client to see the picture more clearly and help him or her to reach a divorce settlement with his or her former partner. A lawyer may be able to provided additional insight regarding sticky issues like a woman wanting to keep her married surname.  

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