Not changing name after marriage is a part of the conversation of old feminism. For a couple of years, people were thinking of creative ways to deal with the issues of name changes after marriage considering logical and emotional consequences. Here, we may be able to help you to pick which is the best path for you and jotted down some advantages and disadvantages of not changing name after marriage.
Whenever you get married, a lot of people believe that after marriage, it is a legal obligation to change your name. But, that’s not the case every time. Today, every name is accepted either you keep your name, hyphenate with your spouse’s name, or come up with the amalgamation of both names with a completely new production. As long as any criminal activity or fraud is not attached to the activity, every name would be accepted constitutionally with the legal rights.
Whatever you choose, there will be another side to the coin. The discussion today will highlight some advantages and disadvantages of not changing name after marriage which you surely want to ponder before making a concrete decision.
Advantage and disadvantages of not changing name after marriage
Chance to change your name that you may find awkward
You can say it’s a chance to change your maiden name that people find clunky or unpronounceable or even difficult to spell most of the time. Plus, it will be a great opportunity if your family’s name is attached with a negative reputation.
Creates a bond of togetherness
Keeping your husband’s name will create a bond between families and give a sense of a family if you plan to have children in the future. It will be much easier when someone calls your family with a unique name.
Makes monogramming easier
If you ever fantasized about a welcoming doormat named Mr. & Mrs. Printed on it, then you should consider changing your name and keeping your husband’s name at your end.
People will call you with your husband’s name
A survey done in 2017, showed that 70% of US citizens expect that brides should change their name after marriage. While most people like to call you by Mrs. Husband’s name due to common practice. It may be an easier task to change your name than to correct everyone every time.
Change can revive
When your name changes after your marriage, you will get a whole new feeling, you will get a new signature, you’ll be introduced differently, and perceived differently. Taking on a name will provide a sense of security and of course a new identity to be someone’s wife and probably a mother.
Disadvantages of not changing name after marriage
Here’s why you should not change your last name.
You may end up having a name that you dislike
It’s not always necessary to change your name if you don’t like a surname that doesn’t resonate with your first name.
You may lose the original name that you are truly proud of.
Maybe you love your name which is poetic and alliterative with your personality. Additionally, many women don’t want to change their last name as it has a sentimental connection that may represent ethnicity, has a story behind it, or may depict the famous family history attached with it.
It will modify your professional footprints
If you run a successful business, or if you’re an author or a professional medical officer, it might affect your career to change your name just because you are getting married to someone. Maybe when people see your new name in their inbox and consider it as spam or Google takes it against your search results. Maybe it’s not worth changing your name.
It will make you lose the sense of being the same person
It may be one of the major disadvantages of changing your name after marriage. You may feel like you’re losing your identity by just getting married, not changing your whole self. If your maiden first name gives you self-satisfaction and is attached to a cause, changing your name will not be a good option.
Paperwork of name change sometimes requires a long day at the government offices
Your maiden name might be associated with your Social security card, driving license, and credit cards along with other official necessities. Changing your name officially will take you in front of every government office that deals with the issuance of these cards. By just sticking to your maiden name, you can save much of your time.
What do you need to do if you want to change your last name?
Several documents and paperwork are involved when you change your name officially. To start with, you need to prepare copies of your marriage license certificate. Next, you may need to update your social security card which can be done by visiting the concerned office in person and via email.
No matter what way you choose to change your name, you will need the following for a name change application submission:
- Citizenship proof: Registered and certified copies of your birth certificate or passport
- Identity proof: A driver’s license or sometimes passport that contains your information with your photo id
- Social security card: The number engraved on the card will not change, however, once you update your name will be changed
- Proof of name change: This is the time when you need to show your marriage certificate copies.
Changing a name in your driver’s license
To change your name on your driving license, it is always needed to do it in person. However, COVID-19 restrictions have made it online for some time. It’s better to call the DMV to find out what option you should opt for. You may need to pay a fee for renewal and provide your new picture. While doing the process online, you need to provide proof of your identity including your current address and license number.
Updating your passport
To have a name change in your passport, you may need to see updated requirements as the prerequisites keep changing due to travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic situation. Once you meet all the requirements, apply for a name change.
How would changing your name affect your children?
Whether you want to keep your maiden name or change it with your husband’s, it will affect your family and future children and the generations to come. Maybe what seems just right for you now, would not work for your family in the long run. It might be your personal decision to change it or not however, it may create a reason for embarrassment for your future children or family when they are not recognized as a part of one family.
If keeping your maiden name is all you want, whose name you will give to your children? Things can also get difficult for them in the future if you hyphenate your name with your husband’s name. Your children may not keep it the way it is when they decide to have children or get married for instance. The similar goes for other scenarios and combinations of last names you opt to take.
Additionally, with a different surname, your children may also get more of a hassle in traveling, schools, and even on hospital visits. Plus, when you get divorced, you may want to keep the name which you had when you both were together. If not, then your children may want to keep their surnames attached to their names. Maybe because of the school or other limitations.
On the other hand, if you get divorced when your children are minors then changing their names will generally require both parents’ consent. Most states obligate parents to file a motion, attend a name change hearing, and bring in the valid and legal reason for a name change.
In case any of the spouses objects to the change, both parents should testify before the court gives its verdict. It also depends on the age of your child, the court may inquire about the child’s will and he or she may also be required to sign the consent form as well.
The legal process of changing the names of your children may vary by state. Therefore, it is always suggested to follow your state laws to avoid legal ramifications later.
How much does changing your name cost?
The cost required to pay for changing your name varies greatly depending on the type of name change you require and the jurisdiction where you live in. Adhering to the United States legal charges easy or cheap, you can expect to pay somewhere between $100 to $400.
Typically, the name change fee includes:
- Filing a court petition
- Name change notice in the local newspaper
- Attorney fees ( in case, if a spouse consents to the change)
- Name changing fees on birth certificates and other official documents.
If the reason for the name change is marriage, then you possibly can avoid the long tiring process of name change such as filing a petition or attending a hearing or publishing. Just provide your marriage certificate to the authorities responsible for name changes in official documents i.e. bank accounts and local registry.
What documents should you update after changing your name?
Once you have changed your name officially, you need to update the following documents with your new name:
- Social security number
- Health cards
- Driver’s license
- Insurance, utilities, bills
- Banking information
- Social Media
- Email Addresses
- Estate planning documents
Marriage is undoubtedly a life-changing experience that alters numerous financial and legal elements of your life. For this reason, you have to make sure that the legal documents like Health Care Directives, Will and Testaments, and the Power of Attorney must reflect the same name that you wish to have either changed or unchanged.
At last, changing your name after your marriage is a personal decision. Whether you want to keep your maiden name or your spouse’s this should be completely a combined decision. Before you go after any decision, keep in mind that the name-changing process is not an easy or cheap process. Moreover, it will affect your future generations in both ways.
In the end, whatever you wish to keep with your name, should suit your beliefs and personality. Once you change your name it might get even more difficult to restore the previous version of your name. Plus, you have to repeat the process of filing a petition, attending hearings, providing evidence and legal fees, changing your name in official documents, etc. all over again.
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