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Are You Changing Your Name?

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lovebug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
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32
Just thinking about chaning my name after I am married and wanted some opinions. I have always thought that I would not change my name. I am a physician so I have all my degrees in my maiden name and I am known by my name as Dr. "Smith" at work. I love my last name and I am very proud of my family. My fiance thinks that it is a great idea to keep my name if I want, and it would be fine with him if I chose to take his name. I always thought that I would keep my maiden name, but I could socially take his name (our new friends wouldn''t necessarily know if I changed my name or not), like we would be Mr. and Mrs. "Jones" and I would be Dr. Smith at work. State law states that I have to have my degrees and licenses in the same name as my legal name.

So, I was watching TV the other day and there was a morning show that was talking about changing your name. They brought up a few issues in terms of our children. Our children would be Bobby and Sally Jones, for example, he would be Bob Jones and I would be Sarah Smith. Our names wouldn''t work together for hyphenation as it would be far too long. So, I would have a different name than my children. When traveling with them it would be annoying, when it comes to school and signing them in and out, etc. it would be a pain. I don''t think that my kids will be messed up by having a mom with a different name, but I am just wondering if anyone has kids who are dealing with this, or if you grew up with a mother who kept her maiden name and if there is anything else I should think about.

I would also love to hear from other ladies who are thinking about this issue as well and what you are planning on doing.

Thanks in advance!
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
My hyphenated name is quite long but I don''t care - I don''t mind if people call me one or the other, but I was not going to change names after being published/established with my maiden name. So the hyphenating was the only compromise I was willing to make, too long or not.
 

tina sparkle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
171
i didn''t change my name when i got married and it has never been a problem. my daughter has my husband''s last name and when i attended school functions i would introduce myself as mrs. jones. you can go informally as mrs. so and so without legally changing your name and avoid having to explain things. my daughter has always been proud of her "cool" mom who kept her own name. besides, my father died when i was a child and i would never give up my name.
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
3,861
I kept my last name and my children have their dad's last name. I haven't had any problems with school sign-in's or any confusion while traveling. It's so commonplace these days that most institutions aren't surprised by it and know how to deal with it. None of my physician friends changed their last names when they got married, though they don't mind being called "Mrs. So-and-so" when it happens.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
I plan on taking my husband''s name when we get married.

This stems from a childhood of having to endure children asking if my parents were divorced all the time, confusion with teachers, in hospitals etc, due to the fact that I had a different last name than my mom. I don''t think it is always a big deal, but as a child I remember it being a pain in the neck.

I also had 4 names as a child because of my mother inserting both a middle name for me AND her maiden name as another middle name. It was always a pain to fill out forms and I have had issues with credit checks etc, because sometimes the name does not appear correctly.

But I will also finish my Ph.D. after we''re married, so the degree thing wouldn''t be an issue because I can have it issued in my married name. I might feel differently if I were already publising extensively, etc.

I would weigh your options and do what is right for you.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
My sister and I were talking about this the other night. Our last name doesn''t mean that much to her, and she doesn''t like the sound of her first name with her husband''s last name, so she didn''t want to take his name either. Her solution? She changed her last name to a more meaningful family name (a first name). SHe still writes her first name, our last name, and then her new last name on things but she''s going to stop doing that soon. I think she wanted everyone to get used to the new name first before dropping the old one.

I"ve had kids at school whose names were hyphenated. Sometimes the kids were just called by the name before the hyphen anyway, regardless of the hyphenated part.

A few family friends AND their husbands decided to hyphenate BOTH of their last names. That way, their children would have the same last name as both their father and mother.

Just a few options.
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
1,526
Hi Lovebug,

I''m also a physician (as is my fiance), and I don''t think I''ll be changing my name. Like you, I have all my degrees in my current name, and it would be weird to be referred to as "Dr. [Fiance''s last name]". Plus, since we''re hoping to work in the same area, I think it would be confusing to have 2 doctors of the same name, though I know that a lot of couples do that. My name now is nice and easy to spell and easy to pronounce, so I just think I''d like to hang on to it. I think it were entirely his choice, Fiance would have me change it, but he''s ok with me keeping my name. Of course, I won''t mind being referred to as "Mrs. [Fiance''s last name]" in social situations.

Anyway, my mom did not change her name when she got married. She has a rather long Italian last name, and I have my dad''s Anglo name. It wasn''t a problem at all, and it is sort of a pet peeve of mine when people bring up confusion with their children as a reason to change their name. Truly, I''m not scarred by it. At all. People didn''t think my parents were divorced, that my mom was a single mom, that she was the babysitter, or any of those situations. Honestly, it''s not the 50''s, and there are TONS of kids who have different last names than their parents for a variety of reasons, and no one really cares. If anything, I would think it would be easier now than when I was growing up in the 80s. I always thought it was sort of cool and liberated that my mom didn''t change her name. My friends always called her "Mrs. [my last name]" to make it easier for them, especially since her name is long and difficult.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I already have a hyphenated and very unusual surname - I''m 35 and as I work in politics I will keep my maiden name for work as it would be a nightmare otherwise (especially since FI is very active at a high level in the same party) - also mine is in a very good position on a ballot paper compared with his
(sounds silly, but candidates beginning with Z have a real disadvantage, he''s not as bad as that but mine is definitely better!)

However, I will have FI''s surname for passport, driving licence and our future children will have his surname. In the UK you don''t change qualifications into your married name so that''s not an issue.
 

btrflygrl23

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
803
I live in Canada and when I researched the name change thing I was told that it makes more sense not to leagally change it b/c then I can still use now bear with me just my last name, his last name, mine and his hypenated etc I could have ALL the options as long as I did not legally change once we marry to his.
I am going to keep mine since I can change it up if I want and also I am a grad student and have already published so I want to keep that connection to my research. I won''t be done the Ph.D until after we marry but I''m still keeping my last name.

P.S. I have a prof at school who is married to another prof same faculty and the wife did not change and when they had their 2 kids they gave the little boy his last name and the little girl hers and I though it was kind of neat and they travel quite a bit and have never had any problems with all the different names etc.
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
696
My mom kept her maiden name and used it socially, and it was never an issue when we were growing up. The only time it was ever an issue was when one of my dad''s business associates booked tome travel for them. She arrived at the airport with a license reading Margaret Herlastname, and a ticket that said Peggy Hislastname. The security guy didn''t even believe Peggy was a nickname for Margaret, and she ended up very thoroughly searched, but allowed to fly. She said she used to carry a copy of her marriage certificate when she was first married (in the 70s), but hadn''t in years.

Moral of the story: really not an issue with kids and school and such, and a copy of your marriage certificate will solve most problems.

I''m not sure what I''ll do in this situation. Growing up, I sort of assumed I wouldn''t change it, and by the time I''m married I''ll (hopefully) have a few publications in my maiden name, plus, my middle name is mom''s last name, last name is dad''s, so I feel like I can''t drop either name, as it would be playing favorites. My current thought is either Laine Mymiddle-Mylast (which is Momlast-Dadlast) Hislast, or to keep my name legally and go by his socially. I still have plenty of time to decide, so we''ll see what happens.

My FF has said he''d like me to change my name, but would understand if I don''t. I think his family would be a little upset if I didn''t. My family would probably be a little disappointed if I did, my brothers have actually told me that I shouldn''t change it.
 

sk8rjen

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
1,113
I just made a decidion the other day about this, actually. I''ve been debating it in my head for a while now, b/c my last name is my former husband''s name, not my maiden name. It seems obvious that I would change it, but I''m known by that name in my skating world and also because my kids have that last name. I''m too lazy to hyphenate and have to write it out all of the time, so I''ve decided to keep my current last name as my legal middle name, and then take matt''s last name as my legal last name. That way I can go by my "full" name at work and for kids-related stuff, and the rest of the time it''s just "mattslastname." He was happy with my decision b/c he thought I was going to hyphenate.
jen
 

ephemery1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
1,724
I have about 2 more months to figure this out myself!


I think every time there is a thread about this, I post a different answer... I''m just so undecided. I would prefer our whole family (husband, wife, kids) to have the same last name... it seems a bit easier for travel, school, etc. But mostly I just like the idea of being "The Smith Family" (substitute out the Smith).

Yet I''m kind of attached to my last name... it''s unusual, and my family is fairly well-known in our hometown because of my dad''s business, so I''ve always felt some degree of pride about being a "Jones". I have two brothers who will be carrying on the name, so I''m not concerned about that... it just makes me sad to think I''ll be the only family member who''s not a "Jones" anymore.


FI doesn''t mind either way... he actually likes my last name better, but he''s refusing to take it himself... some excuse about being the last male left in his family.
 

onedrop

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
2,216
It does seem like this question surfaces every few months. And now I am qualified to answer. :) Right now I am planning to hyphenate: MyLastName-HisLastName. Luckily, both of our surnames are pretty short so it won''t be a pain to write it all the time. At work and in my profession I will keep my maiden name because I am kind of established using my maiden name and because there are just too many hassles in changing things now. Not sure what we will do about any future kids'' last names, but probably they will have his last name.

I''ve always wanted to keep my name after getting married and I was pretty much stuck on this until I met FI. He just wants his name somewhere in the mix and I respect that. After talking about it he was cool with the hyphenation. Plus I like the fact that I will have an American sounding last name combined with his last name whose origins are in another country. It''s probably corny to say this but I think the hyphenation kind of symbolizes the union of our 2 cultures.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I changed my name, but I am young and my married name will be on my college diploma, so it will never present any type of business problem. I also like the idea of being "The Smith Family," and DH was very excited that I was taking his name, share the family crest, etc., and would have been both confused and a little hurt if I hadn''t. It wasn''t ever really a question for me and I was more than happy to take on his name. I also am very proud of my family and didn''t feel any sort of betrayal or what have you by taking on a new last name, and honestly I have never known anyone who was married that kept their maiden name until I moved to a bigger city, haha.

*M*
 

lovebug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
32
Hmmm. Lots of answers and differing opinions. Thanks so much, ladies. Glad to hear that I am not alone in the struggle to decide! Like a lot of you, I feel like I change my mind every day! I think what I have decided (for today) is to keep my maiden name legally and go by his name socially. Then we can still be the "Smith Family" (no one needs to know what your passport or your driver''s license reads) and I can be Dr. Jones at work. That way if I run into people on the street and they call me Mrs. Smith, I will know that they know me personally rather than professionally. I know, I am stretching here....

I agree that it isn''t the 50s anymore and I am glad to hear that a lot of women are choosing to keep their maiden names. Not that taking your husband''s name is bad or means in anyway that the woman isn''t "modern", but I think that it is nice that we actually have the option now-a-days!

We''ll see. I still have a few months to decide / change my mind.
 

niku414

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
60
I am glad that I already discuss this issue with my bf
and NO, I am not changing my name... since it''s a pain to change diplomas, etc etc and I really feel like I want to keep my family name. I think if we have kids .... i would go just go for the hypenated so avoid confusion.
 

RoseAngel04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
865
Yes, I will be taking my future husbands last name!
I feel honored to take on his lastname, and am excited about it! We're pretty traditonal as well. We're a younger engaged couple so my new lastname will appear on my degree(s) etc., so it shouldn't be a problem.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
I''m planning to take his--I like the sense of unity
Plus, his is a lot more interesting than mine (since mine is literally THE MOST common last name in the US, and his is Japanese-Hawaiian
).
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,037
I''m taking my husband''s last name pretty soon. We got married 2 months ago and I haven''t yet, I''ve had a lot of travel for work and changing my name would have taken too long to get done on my passport in time. I''m taking my husband''s last name because it''s important to him, and to me it symbolizes that we are now our own family. My maiden name is on my bachelor''s, but I don''t really think that''s going to present a problem...? My married name will be on my graduate degree.
 

aprilcait

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
788
My mom didn''t change her name, and it never caused a problem for me or my siblings. she never really had issues with it, that I know of, either. Travelling really wasn''t an issue either. Only legally or professionally would she go by her maiden name. Socially, she would go by my dad''s last name. So, my friends never knew my mom kept her maiden name unless I told them, which I would if it was somehow bought up. It just wasn''t a big deal to any of us.
 

ephemery1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
1,724
Date: 3/15/2007 8:46:07 AM
Author: *Lindsey*

My maiden name is on my bachelor''s, but I don''t really think that''s going to present a problem...? My married name will be on my graduate degree.
Hmmm... now you have me thinking about that. My maiden name ("Jones") is on my bachelor''s and first masters degrees.... so should I stay consistent with that on my second masters (this summer), or switch to "Smith"? Then I have a certification (already issued under Jones) and licensure (not issued yet)... plus another certification and a doctorate within the next 5 years. I really need to think this through...... maybe it really IS easier to keep my maiden name for professional stuff, married name for personal?
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
527
I am, without question, taking my Fi''s name..

I guess for me, I just really enjoy the idea of starting a new life with him as my husband, and us sharing his name. When this topic came up lastnight on Pricescope... I asked him if he ever questioned whether I would take his name.. and he told me about how he did (we never talked about it because it was never an option NOT to.. for me)..

He told me these horror stories of his ex.. and how she used to make snarky comments about his lastname.. and how it would work with them in the future... um.. maybe that should be a clue... if your SO teases you about your lastname.. RUN.. fast... dont look back..
LOL.. I might be a little biased.. I dont care for her so much...

But.. it made me feel good to hear that he is happy that I am taking his name... guess I am just a traditionalist.
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
501
Ugh, this question gives me so much angst!


Lately I have been strongly leaning toward getting rid of my current middle name and taking my maiden as my middle, and his as my last. And using all three. I know someone who does this and I love the ring of it. Syllable-wise, it would be 3-2-2 which I think is manageable.

Maybe this can be an option for you?
 

amileegirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
144
So, I was watching TV the other day and there was a morning show that was talking about changing your name. They brought up a few issues in terms of our children. Our children would be Bobby and Sally Jones, for example, he would be Bob Jones and I would be Sarah Smith. Our names wouldn''t work together for hyphenation as it would be far too long. So, I would have a different name than my children. When traveling with them it would be annoying, when it comes to school and signing them in and out, etc. it would be a pain. I don''t think that my kids will be messed up by having a mom with a different name, but I am just wondering if anyone has kids who are dealing with this, or if you grew up with a mother who kept her maiden name and if there is anything else I should think about.


Honestly, I have never seen what the big issue is. I haven''t had the same last name as my mother since she got remarried when I was 12. My school had no trouble identifying her, and I didn''t have an identity crisis; I was asked if I wanted to change my name too when she got remarried and I declined. I liked my name and it had nothing to do with my biological father whom I never knew. I was T ____ D ____ and that was that.

My brothers are my half brothers and we have different last names. When they were little they didn''t notice, when they were older and did notice they asked once, got an answer and that was that. We had no trouble identifying each other. Once we introduce each other as siblings to new people they have no trouble with it and almost never ask why we have different last names. Some people who don''t see me as much as them and forget my last name will often send an invitation for the whole family with me included with the R _____ family name and I don''t mind. We don''t even look alike and we have a huge age gap so the surprise people get is mostly that we are related at all nevermind last names :)

If you think about it your grandparents on both sides have different last names, your aunts and uncles, cousins, etc and no one ever pays much attention to last names. In fact, sharing a last name these days just doesn''t indicate familial ties at all.

I''m not changing my last name. I don''t believe in that tradition and feel it is outdated and unecessary. One should change their name becauese they like the new one or want to carry on a small family''s name by choice, or who just want to. It especially burns my britches that many men will assume you want their name or get offended if you ask if they would instead change their name to yours. Its archaic to assume that a woman should change her name! If it is important that the couple share a name with their new family then they could always pick a new one and both change their names.

My FI is easy going but even he balked at the idea at first and then suggested hyphenization. I declined saying that my last name would be dropped if we went with my last name first as is the norm and that would defeat the purpose. And if we reversed the name he wouldn''t be happy that his last name got dropped. He also tried the "what about our children"; and I said we can give the first your last name and the second my last name. We both like our last names equally and it stands to reason that we would both like to pass it on equally. We''d be the D and S family and that''s that.

And if the school can''t put two and two together by reading the records then that is not a school we should let them attend :)
 

psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
105
My mom kept her last name, because her first name and my dad''s last name simply sounded really awkward together. I don''t remember her ever having a problem picking us up from school or traveling with us. I didn''t even think about the fact that she had a different last name until I got older and found out a lot of wives change their names. If she had no problems back then, I can''t imagine people would give you problems now!!

I also don''t think that people should view keeping your name as not being committed to the marriage. My parents are happily married to this day. Many cultures don''t even do the name change thing, and hyphenations or keeping the maiden name seems to be more and more common now in this country.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,374
Date: 3/15/2007 1:34:15 PM
Author: amileegirl
So, I was watching TV the other day and there was a morning show that was talking about changing your name. They brought up a few issues in terms of our children. Our children would be Bobby and Sally Jones, for example, he would be Bob Jones and I would be Sarah Smith. Our names wouldn''t work together for hyphenation as it would be far too long. So, I would have a different name than my children. When traveling with them it would be annoying, when it comes to school and signing them in and out, etc. it would be a pain. I don''t think that my kids will be messed up by having a mom with a different name, but I am just wondering if anyone has kids who are dealing with this, or if you grew up with a mother who kept her maiden name and if there is anything else I should think about.


Honestly, I have never seen what the big issue is. I haven''t had the same last name as my mother since she got remarried when I was 12. My school had no trouble identifying her, and I didn''t have an identity crisis; I was asked if I wanted to change my name too when she got remarried and I declined. I liked my name and it had nothing to do with my biological father whom I never knew. I was T ____ D ____ and that was that.

My brothers are my half brothers and we have different last names. When they were little they didn''t notice, when they were older and did notice they asked once, got an answer and that was that. We had no trouble identifying each other. Once we introduce each other as siblings to new people they have no trouble with it and almost never ask why we have different last names. Some people who don''t see me as much as them and forget my last name will often send an invitation for the whole family with me included with the R _____ family name and I don''t mind. We don''t even look alike and we have a huge age gap so the surprise people get is mostly that we are related at all nevermind last names :)

If you think about it your grandparents on both sides have different last names, your aunts and uncles, cousins, etc and no one ever pays much attention to last names. In fact, sharing a last name these days just doesn''t indicate familial ties at all.

I''m not changing my last name. I don''t believe in that tradition and feel it is outdated and unecessary. One should change their name becauese they like the new one or want to carry on a small family''s name by choice, or who just want to. It especially burns my britches that many men will assume you want their name or get offended if you ask if they would instead change their name to yours. Its archaic to assume that a woman should change her name! If it is important that the couple share a name with their new family then they could always pick a new one and both change their names.

My FI is easy going but even he balked at the idea at first and then suggested hyphenization. I declined saying that my last name would be dropped if we went with my last name first as is the norm and that would defeat the purpose. And if we reversed the name he wouldn''t be happy that his last name got dropped. He also tried the ''what about our children''; and I said we can give the first your last name and the second my last name. We both like our last names equally and it stands to reason that we would both like to pass it on equally. We''d be the D and S family and that''s that.

And if the school can''t put two and two together by reading the records then that is not a school we should let them attend :)
Amileegirl,
You are a modern women (feminist) after my own heart. I share the same opinion. My mom kept her maiden name and nobody every questioned that we are her children. She even had us in her passport as children with different last names and nobody blinked an eye. I also kept my own last name and my children have my husband''s last name. I sure wouldn''t mind if they took my surname though.
.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I got married young so I didn't have degree issues (very valid imo) but I didn't want to change my name because I was the only child of an only boy and the last with my last name.... my husband said there was little he insisted on but he REALLY wanted me to have his last name. when I found out my dad was having a child (who is now 15 lol and a boy) I quickly consented to change my name. I actually kept all my names but my "legal" name is first middle-maiden married so basically I hyphenated my maiden to my middle rather than having to deal with two last names. I also didn't want to give up my middle name. I have two middle initials and they're both the same letter and technically middle-maiden is one name so I can just use one of those letters... it's been pretty flawless over the years I must admit. I think if I were to do it over I'd not put a hypen and just move to have two middle names. I dunno...
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
My legal name is FirstName MiddleName Middle/MaidenName LastName. So far it''s worked out perfectly. I earned my BA under my maiden name, I am earning my M.Ed under my married name.
 

blingergrrrl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
539
Date: 3/14/2007 4:27:24 PM
Author: FireGoddess
My hyphenated name is quite long but I don''t care - I don''t mind if people call me one or the other, but I was not going to change names after being published/established with my maiden name. So the hyphenating was the only compromise I was willing to make, too long or not.
How many letters is your hyphenated name? Mine would be 18...
Don''t you just hate filling out forms that don''t give you enough space? I sometimes have problems with just MY name (it''s 10 letters long)!
 

ringplease

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
130
I think the trend seems that name changes really depend on life status at the time of marriage. I am in med school and I am already looking forward to getting the degree that I am working so hard for in my name. I am an only child and I will be the only one to carry on my last name. My FF totally understands my desire to keep my name and be Dr. "Smith" and I really respect that. I think that marriage is about sharing a lot of things, but a name doesn''t have to be one of them to be a good marriage. It is a formality that works for some and not for others. I guess if I had gotten married in college it would have been different but I think that especially with women having professional careers, publications, recognition, etc. with a particular name it makes sense to go with what has been used in the past.
 
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