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Story: My children and Divorce
i have to say, in my case, i was extremely lucky with the way my children have handled the break-up. admittedly, we had been spending a lot of time apart already. and he has made an active effort - stopping by and putting them to bed, etc., to stay in their lives.
but when we told them that papa had another apartment they said, "hurray! does that mean we have enough room for a dog?" they wanted to help him decorate and the middle one's main concern was - "did you buy it or are you just renting?"(she's four!)
they think they are "rich" now because they have two apartments.
as for the name changing question - having been married twice - i changed my name (the first time) on my passport, my bank account and some papers. but i just added on my husband's name so it was ameena meer douglas. however, for work - and i'd been working as a writer for a while so i didn't want to lose my identity, i kept ameena meer in the workplace and on my driver's license. it didn't seem to affect anything or anyone - i could deposit checks under both names - ameena meer and ameena meer douglas. and if an airline ticket said meer or douglas, i had picture i.d.s with both, but that was the biggest problem. the main reason i'd changed my name on my passport was that i was travelling a lot with my daughter and i thought it would be simpler if we had the same last name on our travel documents. in retrospect - now that i've remarried and we travel with three different last names - that probably wasn't necessary because no one has ever questioned that we are a family. i suppose i would have to be totally out of my mind to travel with three small children that are someone else's.
the main difficulty was in getting him off my official papers when we divorced. i had to send letters in triplicate to everyone with copies of the divorce certificates and everything, even though i never showed anyone a marriage certificate.
the problem is really only with airline tickets and credit cards and then taking the name off stuff if you want to. though, there's no reason to - look at erica jong. she's been married several times since but still keeps her first husband's name.