Will You Change Your Last Name?

Years ago women were obliged to change their maiden name after marriage, but nowadays it is entirely up to the bride to decide whether she will take their husband’s surname or not, since there is no legal requirement.

Changing your maiden name is the traditional option and it can make your life together easier in many ways. For example it is convenient for making joint financial arrangements, but also when you decide to have children. If you decide to take your husband’s surname, your Marriage Certificate issued by your state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is a sufficient evidence which you can use to get new documents. You will need to change all your documents though, which might be a bit of a hassle for you.

If you have already established a successful business or artistic career with your maiden name, you may want to consider keeping it. You can also decide to take your husband’s surname as your legal name and use it for private matters which are not concerned with work. You can also do it the other way round and choose the option “name by association” which doesn’t require any change of documents. This is perfectly legal and the idea is to use your husband’s name socially while keeping your maiden name as your legal surname.

However, using two different surnames can be very confusing sometimes. Other possibilities include various combinations of your maiden name and husband’s surname. You can hyphenate your last names, double barrel your names or turn your maiden name into a new middle name. There is also an option to make up a new surname that consists of both last names, or even invent a completely new surname.

Consider all the options before you decide and calculate benefits and losses. Some women prefer to change their name because they simply find it more convenient and for various legal and social reasons, while others just do it to keep the tradition and demonstrate love and devotion for their husbands. And even some man decide to take their wifes last name, although this is rare it does happen.

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