Well, it’s over…both 2020 (aka the worst year in recent memory) and the marriage between actress Zoe Kravitz, daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, and Karl Glusman, umm, that guy who was in the…you know, that thing. According to ye olde internet, he is an actor who has appeared in some stuff I’ve never heard of.
Kravitz’s 2021 started off with her people confirming that she filed for divorce from Glusman. In this day and age, life events are always documented on social media and this was no exception. Kravitz posted a pointed yet cryptic “meme” of someone throwing trash into a dumpster, with said trash bag reading “People, places, and things that no longer serve my greatest and highest good.” The meme itself has since been trashed and lives on only in screenshots.
In further typical passive aggressive millennial fashion, Glusman has unfollowed (so harsh!) Kravitz on social media and he has deleted (ouch!) all of her photos. Well, it must REALLY be over.
In short term marriages like theirs, there are often relatively few issues between the parties. Kravitz and Glusman have no children, have only been married for about 18 months, and are both only 32 years old. So, hopefully, this will be an easy divorce for Kravitz and that guy. However, the topic of name changes comes up frequently with the demise of a short-term marriage, especially when there are no children in common. I mean, why keep someone’s name when that can of baked beans in your pantry had a longer shelf life?
I have no idea if Kravitz changed her name to Glusman, but if she did, Glusman may be meeting with an attorney and playing the name game—can she keep my name? How can I make her change her name? I don’t want my family’s name associated with her! (I know, I know, I shouldn’t assume it was the woman who changed her name, but I’m playing the odds here. In my anecdotal experience, it is still quite uncommon for the man to have changed his).
In New Jersey, upon the granting of a divorce, the Court can allow either party to resume the use of a previous last name, or to assume a whole new one. That’s not to say that the Court will allow a party to take any name. The Court does have the ability to reject a name change sought for a fraudulent or criminal purpose or if the proposed name is obscene or offensive. So, if Zoe Kravitz wants to become Zoe Karlisapieceof….whoa, let’s keep this blog PG! You get the point. Needless to say, she might have a difficult time getting a Court to sign off on that kind of name change.
One party cannot require the other to change his or her last name, so, if you like the ex’s last name you can keep it, no questions asked. Changing a name upon divorce is actually so easy a caveman could do it—you do not have to ask for it in the initial divorce pleadings and there is no reason you cannot decide on the day of the divorce whether you want to keep the name or change it. It’s a very personal choice and especially difficult for parties with children in common, so it is often a game-time (or, for our purposes, name-time) decision. Even if a party does not change his or her name on the day of the divorce, NJ law actually allows a name change after the divorce is already over. It is much easier to change a name in connection with a divorce proceeding—either during or after—than changing it based on New Jersey’s general name change statute when there is no divorce because the procedure is entirely different.
Hopefully, Zoe and what’s-his-name, who apparently were a married couple in name only at the end of 2020, will eventually end 2021 better than they started it.
The Family Law department at Cooper Levenson is a full-service department that has many years of experience representing clients in matters of divorce, custody, support, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements, grandparent visitation, and other family law issues. We are here to help.