Should You Keep Your Ex’s Last Name After Divorce If They Don’t Want You To Have It?

April 12, 2017  |  

Apart from business purposes, I never really understood the reason some women keep the last name of their ex-husbands. It wasn’t until I started the process of trying to change my last name to match my husband’s that I saw why it my not appear to be worth the effort. Seriously, it takes way too much paperwork and trips to the social security office and DMV to change one’s name. And if you’re someone who has made a name for themselves with their married name, trying to revert to your maiden name may not be a good idea.

Memphitz and Toya Wright last name

But what happens when a marriage ends in a contentious manner? Usually it’s the woman who decides she no longer wants to be connected to her ex via the use of his name. In an interesting turn of events though, Mickey “Memphitz” Wright wants Toya Wright (born Antonia Johnson, formerly Carter due to her marriage to Lil Wayne) to give him back his name. He posted this on Instagram this week:

Wright, who is known for erratic behavior these days changed his tune earlier today:

Granted, I think a lot of Memphitz’s anger towards Toya (though obviously only they know the full story) stems from the fact that while married to her, he wasn’t able to clear up claims by K. Michelle that he was physically abusive, claims that turned out to be true. He wanted to do this by appearing on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, which is something Toya didn’t want. After that, he started sharing cryptic messages and when he appeared on Marriage Boot Camp with Toya, he was verbally abusive to her. The two are technically still married, just separated. However, it’s clear they both wish to be done. She rarely speaks of him these days and he, well, speaks negatively of her.

But despite the pettiness of his statements, I thought it created an interesting conversation of whether or not you should keep a man’s name, especially if they don’t want you to have it. The consensus seemed to be that Toya should be done with “Wright,” not because he doesn’t want her to have it, but rather, because he has been nothing but disrespectful to her. There aren’t many warm fuzzies connected to the name. Why not move on with a fresh start and a name that has nothing to do with him?

Also pointed out is the fact that while she does have a few businesses, some don’t think they would be affected if she went back to Johnson — or even Carter for that matter. Carter is her daughter Reginae’s last name, and if she reverted to her previous married name, they would have the same surname again.

But despite what Memphitz wants, there are reportedly no laws barring a woman from holding on to her husband’s name following a divorce if she’s become accustomed to it.

There also is no law barring a woman who has been married multiple times from reverting back to the surname of a previous husband. Toya would not need Lil Wayne’s permission to use his name again, but she would have to arrange to change her name on all official documents, including her social security card, passport and driver’s license. Usage does, however, depend on her previous use of the name and whether or not her divorce to Memphitz is finalized. Also, just an fyi, you can’t change your name back to your first husband’s to pull a fast one on creditors or avoid dealing with criminal charges.

With that being said, while some women can overlook the discourtesies of their ex to hold onto their name, others don’t want to be associated with their former husband, and as such, go back to their maiden name — or whatever name they desire. In this case, these two are still married, so if he wants her to give back his name, he might want to sign those papers, finalize things and try to negotiate with her about it. But if she so chooses to keep the name, which she would have the right to do, that’s what it will be. As the law states, a man can’t force an ex-wife to change her last name, but he can force himself to get over it.

Images via Getty and Instagram 

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