Gwen Stefani "Sweet Escapes" Back to her Maiden Name
Post-divorce, Gwen Stefani has chosen to drop Gavin Rossdale all together by opting to legally change her last name back to Stefani.
She recently filed legal documents in an LA Court, requesting that her name be restored to "Gwen Renée Stefani"; and last week, a judge approved her application. Stefani legally added "Rossdale" to her name after the couple got married in 2002 - but kept Stefani as her stage name.
Stefani and Rossdale's 13-year marriage ended in April 2016, after he was allegedly caught cheating. Stefani has since moved on, and is currently dating Blake Shelton.
Stefani's decision to change her name was a personal one - there is no legal requirement for it. In fact, many people prefer to keep their married name at the end of their relationship. Some people may keep their married name in order to have the same name as their children. Others may choose to keep it in order to maintain some form of stability or familiarity (for the sake of their children or otherwise). Alternatively, they may opt not to change their name for professional reasons (either if their professional degrees and certifications use their married name, or their business is named after it).
Those who choose to change their last names after a divorce may do so to better cope with change, or to otherwise affirm or reclaim their identity. Others may choose to revert back to their maiden name if they plan on re-partnering or re-marrying and want to avoid any conflict or confusion.
In Ontario specifically, pursuant to section 3(2) of the Change of Name Act, a person can elect to resume the last name they had immediately before the marriage at any time after their marriage is dissolved by divorce, annulment or death. The process for this change is rather simple, and only costs $25. It requires a filing of an "Election to Resume Former Surname" form, along with birth and divorce certificates, with the Office of the Registrar General. This form is available by request from Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2126 (Canada) or 416-325-8305 (Greater Toronto Area).