SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR LAST NAME?
Changing your last name to your spouse’s post wedding seems like a given, right?
Well, not exactly.
According to the New York Times in 2015, the amount of women keeping their maiden names after marriage has increased to 30 percent.
It could be because changing your last name doesn’t come as easy as people may think. You’ll have to update your social security card, bank account, and email, as well as get a new license, passport, and credit cards, and that means tons of paperwork and the dreaded DMV visit. Another theory is that women are marrying later in life and taking on higher status jobs. If you got your college degree, started a successful business, or achieved a mass of accomplishments under your maiden name, it could be hard to give that up.
In fact, in many cultures, taking your husband’s name after marriage is not only not a practice, but illegal! Some studies have found that the tradition of women changing their last names after marriage is rooted in patriarchal society practices when women were considered property.
Remember that Friends episode of Phoebe changing her name after marrying Mike? Maybe you don’t need to take things so far as to becoming “Princess Consuela”, but here are a few options for post-wedding last names!
Take Your Spouse’s Last Name
By no means are we trying to strike down the idea of taking your partner’s last name. If you and your spouse find the tradition significant, then do what feels right for you! Here’s a thought though: either partner can decide to change their last name, the decision doesn’t have to necessarily fall to one person.
Keep Your Maiden Name
If you love your name, then keep your maiden name! It doesn’t make you any less committed to your marriage or future family, despite what other people might tell you.
Hyphenate Your Last Names
Getting the best of both worlds, it has become more common for couples to hyphenate their last names. This way, no one has to give up their surname and both parties can go through the process of changing names together.
Use Your Maiden Name Professionally and Another Legally
If you’ve already established yourself professionally with your last name, you’ll be less inclined to change it. But, that doesn’t mean you have to keep it to maintain your professional persona. You can legally and socially use your spouse’s last name, but refer to your maiden name for all professional interactions (a popular trend of celebrities these days).
Create A New Name
Less common, but still a viable option, is combining both last names to create something completely new. This gives a couple the chance to create their own family name!
Ultimately the decision is yours and you shouldn’t feel pressured to change your name or keep your maiden name. We believe changing your last name is a choice and you can do what feels best for you and your spouse! So next time you need something to talk about with your significant other, maybe bring up the “last name talk” and see what you both think!