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He doesn't want me to take his last name, but I want to!

jstarfireb

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My husband and I both have very ethnic names, and we're of different ethnicities (Eastern European and Chinese). That was one of my concerns with taking his name. Everyone would expect a Chinese-American person if they heard me introduce myself with his last name. Think "Donna Chang" from Seinfeld ("You're not Chinese!?!"). Hyphenating helped me get around that because very few people assume ethnicity from a hyphenated name. It's generally assumed that the first part of the hyphenated name is yours and the second is your husband's. You guys are lucky to have 1- and 2-syllable names. My hyphenated name is 4 syllables, which can be a pain, but that's because my name is long (his is only 1 syllable). Also, if you hyphenate, a part of your name will be the same as your future kids' names. And you can always choose to introduce yourself with his name if you want (I only introduce myself with my maiden name despite the hyphenated name). So I still think it could be a good solution for you.

While I like the idea of picking a totally new name for you, your husband, and your future kids to share, that can be difficult for some families to wrap their minds around. I know my husband would never have gone for that, and my family would have been upset if I gave up my name in any way (taking his OR making up a new one). But if you do go that route, it's a great opportunity to pick a really interesting name with a cool meaning.
 

marymm

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child: "Mommy, why don't you have the same name as Daddy and me?"

mom: "Because Daddy didn't want me to" OR "I wanted to, but Daddy said no"
 

natascha

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Sorry to be blunt but your FI needs to put on the big boy pants. Sure he might feel that your looks don't fit in with his last name but that pales in comparison to your feelings of having the same name as the rest of the family. He needs to compromise and be happy, you want to have the same name and he can choose what name you as a family will have.

With so many mixed marriages and mixed children this is becoming more and more common. Take myself as an example, I have a Latin surname and a Swedish one, both quite long. Thing is I do not look Latin, I am very pale with blue grey eyes, Nordic facial features and comparatively tall. People get very confused when they see me if they have just heard my name. Does this bother me? Usually no.

Even more strange is that it looks like my fiance and I will take my surname. My FI is a tall, blond, blue eyed Swede. We want to have the same surname and his is a -son name which I do not want. He does not want the only surname in his family tree that is not a -son name so then we will take mine. I wonder what your fiance would think of that. :wink2:

You don't have to respond, but which ethnicity does your FI and you have?
 

Dreamer_D

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Why doesn't he take your name, then, or you can both take a new name?
 

MissStepcut

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natascha|1315955778|3016870 said:
Sorry to be blunt but your FI needs to put on the big boy pants. Sure he might feel that your looks don't fit in with his last name but that pales in comparison to your feelings of having the same name as the rest of the family. He needs to compromise and be happy, you want to have the same name and he can choose what name you as a family will have.

With so many mixed marriages and mixed children this is becoming more and more common. Take myself as an example, I have a Latin surname and a Swedish one, both quite long. Thing is I do not look Latin, I am very pale with blue grey eyes, Nordic facial features and comparatively tall. People get very confused when they see me if they have just heard my name. Does this bother me? Usually no.

Even more strange is that it looks like my fiance and I will take my surname. My FI is a tall, blond, blue eyed Swede. We want to have the same surname and his is a -son name which I do not want. He does not want the only surname in his family tree that is not a -son name so then we will take mine. I wonder what your fiance would think of that. :wink2:

You don't have to respond, but which ethnicity does your FI and you have?
The reason I initially said he just "doesn't like it" is because of his feelings about being an immigrant. I think he doesn't want to put the assumption of non-nativeness on me. I think it's a little deeper than just not wanting people to be confused, if you understand what I am saying.

He's South Asian and I'm Caucasian.
 

Dreamer_D

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MissStepcut|1315956782|3016881 said:
The reason I initially said he just "doesn't like it" is because of his feelings about being an immigrant. I think he doesn't want to put the assumption of non-nativeness on me. I think it's a little deeper than just not wanting people to be confused, if you understand what I am saying.

He's South Asian and I'm Caucasian.

In his culture do women take their husband's names? I know in Iran/Persia they do not. That could contribute.

It sounds like there could be some issues about his self and identity that are coloring this. My advice to you is to leave it for now and return to the issue in a few years, maybe when you are married and have kids. I changed my name about 6 months after we were married, and my friend changed hers after 6 years! haha... it was when she had kids and wanted then to have the same last name. I guess my point is you don't have to decide it right now, you can sort of wait and revisit it later.

Regarding publishing, that is not an issue. I published a number of things under my maiden name, Dreamer B. Maiden. Once I changed my name I kept publishing as Dreamer Maiden Married -- so I have a professional name and a private name, which is Dreamer B. Married. He could do the same thing if he wanted to. But I suspect that this is not a rational thing on his part but emotional, so all the rational arguments you level will go nowhere until you get to the heart of the issue.

And I am sorry he is ashamed of being an immigrant, if that is why he hates his name. That makes me sad.
 

MissStepcut

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Dreamer_D|1315957132|3016886 said:
MissStepcut|1315956782|3016881 said:
The reason I initially said he just "doesn't like it" is because of his feelings about being an immigrant. I think he doesn't want to put the assumption of non-nativeness on me. I think it's a little deeper than just not wanting people to be confused, if you understand what I am saying.

He's South Asian and I'm Caucasian.

In his culture do women take their husband's names? I know in Iran/Persia they do not. That could contribute.

It sounds like there could be some issues about his self and identity that are coloring this. My advice to you is to leave it for now and return to the issue in a few years, maybe when you are married and have kids. I changed my name about 6 months after we were married, and my friend changed hers after 6 years! haha... it was when she had kids and wanted then to have the same last name. I guess my point is you don't have to decide it right now, you can sort of wait and revisit it later.

Regarding publishing, that is not an issue. I published a number of things under my maiden name, Dreamer B. Maiden. Once I changed my name I kept publishing as Dreamer Maiden Married -- so I have a professional name and a private name, which is Dreamer B. Married. He could do the same thing if he wanted to. But I suspect that this is not a rational thing on his part but emotional, so all the rational arguments you level will go nowhere until you get to the heart of the issue.

And I am sorry he is ashamed of being an immigrant, if that is why he hates his name. That makes me sad.
I think it's different for women, where people expect some will eventually change their names. IMO, that's just not going to go over super well in his field (not academia). Not any comment on how it should be, just my sense of how it is.
 

natascha

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MissStepcut|1315956782|3016881 said:
natascha|1315955778|3016870 said:
Sorry to be blunt but your FI needs to put on the big boy pants. Sure he might feel that your looks don't fit in with his last name but that pales in comparison to your feelings of having the same name as the rest of the family. He needs to compromise and be happy, you want to have the same name and he can choose what name you as a family will have.

With so many mixed marriages and mixed children this is becoming more and more common. Take myself as an example, I have a Latin surname and a Swedish one, both quite long. Thing is I do not look Latin, I am very pale with blue grey eyes, Nordic facial features and comparatively tall. People get very confused when they see me if they have just heard my name. Does this bother me? Usually no.

Even more strange is that it looks like my fiance and I will take my surname. My FI is a tall, blond, blue eyed Swede. We want to have the same surname and his is a -son name which I do not want. He does not want the only surname in his family tree that is not a -son name so then we will take mine. I wonder what your fiance would think of that. :wink2:

You don't have to respond, but which ethnicity does your FI and you have?
The reason I initially said he just "doesn't like it" is because of his feelings about being an immigrant. I think he doesn't want to put the assumption of non-nativeness on me. I think it's a little deeper than just not wanting people to be confused, if you understand what I am saying.

He's South Asian and I'm Caucasian.

I think I understand where he is coming from. There are still people that discriminate and that is a consideration. In your case I would change to a hyphenated surname that you can use professionally, on legal documents and when job hunting,etc. but in private just use his surname if that is what you want. There will always be bigoted people but you can't let that dictate your life but you can minimize the potential problems they cause. I know that just using my Swedish surname can sometimes make things easier but it is not that big of a deal.
 

Circe

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Well ... okay, let's say you're a Smith and he's an Ital. Like Octavia said, the fact is that you're going to default to being Mrs. Ital in most people's mind the second they find out you're married, anyway. It would be a battle worth fighting if you were attached to your name, but as you're not ... it sounds like you'll get all the disadvantages of people's traditional expectations and potential bigotry, without the advantage of feeling like a family unit, being traditional according to your own preferences, etc., etc. Doesn't seem like the smart bet, somehow ....
 

Dreamer_D

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MissStepcut|1315957403|3016889 said:
Dreamer_D|1315957132|3016886 said:
MissStepcut|1315956782|3016881 said:
The reason I initially said he just "doesn't like it" is because of his feelings about being an immigrant. I think he doesn't want to put the assumption of non-nativeness on me. I think it's a little deeper than just not wanting people to be confused, if you understand what I am saying.

He's South Asian and I'm Caucasian.

In his culture do women take their husband's names? I know in Iran/Persia they do not. That could contribute.

It sounds like there could be some issues about his self and identity that are coloring this. My advice to you is to leave it for now and return to the issue in a few years, maybe when you are married and have kids. I changed my name about 6 months after we were married, and my friend changed hers after 6 years! haha... it was when she had kids and wanted then to have the same last name. I guess my point is you don't have to decide it right now, you can sort of wait and revisit it later.

Regarding publishing, that is not an issue. I published a number of things under my maiden name, Dreamer B. Maiden. Once I changed my name I kept publishing as Dreamer Maiden Married -- so I have a professional name and a private name, which is Dreamer B. Married. He could do the same thing if he wanted to. But I suspect that this is not a rational thing on his part but emotional, so all the rational arguments you level will go nowhere until you get to the heart of the issue.

And I am sorry he is ashamed of being an immigrant, if that is why he hates his name. That makes me sad.
I think it's different for women, where people expect some will eventually change their names. IMO, that's just not going to go over super well in his field (not academia). Not any comment on how it should be, just my sense of how it is.

Yes, of course, he would have to be a very confident man to take his wife's name, academia or not. I just was pointing out that it is not an issue where if he changes his name no one will know who he is! One can maintain continuity. If he does not want to do it, fine for him. I think few men would.
 

MissStepcut

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Circe|1315957958|3016903 said:
Well ... okay, let's say you're a Smith and he's an Ital. Like Octavia said, the fact is that you're going to default to being Mrs. Ital in most people's mind the second they find out you're married, anyway. It would be a battle worth fighting if you were attached to your name, but as you're not ... it sounds like you'll get all the disadvantages of people's traditional expectations and potential bigotry, without the advantage of feeling like a family unit, being traditional according to your own preferences, etc., etc. Doesn't seem like the smart bet, somehow ....
I like how you framed this. He can't protect me from bigotry, really, just by withholding his last name. That might help him see the futility of what he's trying to do.
 

Dreamer_D

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MissStepcut|1315958729|3016922 said:
Circe|1315957958|3016903 said:
Well ... okay, let's say you're a Smith and he's an Ital. Like Octavia said, the fact is that you're going to default to being Mrs. Ital in most people's mind the second they find out you're married, anyway. It would be a battle worth fighting if you were attached to your name, but as you're not ... it sounds like you'll get all the disadvantages of people's traditional expectations and potential bigotry, without the advantage of feeling like a family unit, being traditional according to your own preferences, etc., etc. Doesn't seem like the smart bet, somehow ....
I like how you framed this. He can't protect me from bigotry, really, just by withholding his last name. That might help him see the futility of what he's trying to do.

It could.

And from an emotional perspective, try to make sure you validate the intention behind his desires. It is touching that he wants to protect you from negative experiences he might have had, it shows his love. You can thank him for the intention but at the same time express your desire to have his intentions shown in a different way. Validating the emotion behind his desire could make him more open to compromise.
 

Imdanny

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I'm just trying to work out solutions and I'm just talking out loud but is there a context for a woman to take a man's name when a man doesn't want her to? This is a possible situation I've never considered. This is just my personal opinion but I don't think it's right for him to want to give his name to his kids but not to you. Good luck!
 

Scorpioanne

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MissStepcut|1315895697|3016333 said:
My FF doesn't want me to take his last name. Let's just say he doesn't like it himself, and doesn't want to inflict it on me. I want to take it, and since I am in school, it's a great time in my career to change it.

Should I respect his preference on this one, or just change it and let him get used to it? Our discussions on the subject lead to stalemates.

This was a conversation 30 years ago with my 1st husband and I took his name (for a short while and then changed it back to my maiden name) and when our son was born he had my ex's last name. My ex really didn't like his last name - at all. After we split he remarried and took his new wife's name. At this point our son had no parents with the same last name as him so I (with ex's permission) changed my son't last name to my maiden name. My ex's family was a bit put out as my son was the first grandchild but they got over it. My dad is thrilled that my son carries his name and has made a name for himself in the career that my dad wanted to have. When I remarried I added DH's name as a second surname (without a hyphen) as I didn't want to change my name totally and leave my son out (even though he was 23 when I remarried).
 

pregcurious

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I think this is something best worked out with your husband. It might backfire on you if you mention suggestions from PS--it depends on the person.
 

FrekeChild

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Hmmm...yeah I don't really *get* his view?

My husband is a mutt, half-Eastern European mutt/half Mexican. He looks more Mexican than Caucasian, and his last name is distinctly German.

I HATED my maiden name. Not the name itself, but it is popular girl's first name, so I got "No, I asked for your LAST NAME" a LOT. There was no doubt in my mind that I'd change it. My name is now Elizabeth Maidenname Marriedname. Which Social Security had a very difficult time dealing with--apparently not many women change their names to have their maiden name as their middle names. My maiden name was very much a part of my identity though and I couldn't just get rid of it!

A warning, as for changing it later...there is a certain time limit to change your name with SSA after getting married, and if you surpass that, it becomes a lot more difficult. As it was, it was a huge pain that took over 3 months...and that wasn't with credit cards added in - just SSA and driver's license. Plus the 4 weeks it took to get the stupid official marriage license!
 

centralsquare

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MissStepcut|1315935082|3016626 said:
movie zombie|1315933582|3016615 said:
kenny|1315931461|3016580 said:
He doesn't like his name.
You don't want yours.

Marriage is the perfect time for both of you to pick a totally new name you will both share.



i so agree with this sensible solution.
It would make sense if he weren't published/more established in his career. Even if he wanted to do this, I would be against it... it occurs to me, possibly for similar reasons he would be against me taking his. I am starting to understand his position better, ha...

He could change his name personally and not professionally. So continue to publish under his current name but legally change his name to one you could share.
 

LGK

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FrekeChild|1315973901|3017105 said:
Hmmm...yeah I don't really *get* his view?

My husband is a mutt, half-Eastern European mutt/half Mexican. He looks more Mexican than Caucasian, and his last name is distinctly German.

I HATED my maiden name. Not the name itself, but it is popular girl's first name, so I got "No, I asked for your LAST NAME" a LOT. There was no doubt in my mind that I'd change it. My name is now Elizabeth Maidenname Marriedname. Which Social Security had a very difficult time dealing with--apparently not many women change their names to have their maiden name as their middle names. My maiden name was very much a part of my identity though and I couldn't just get rid of it!

A warning, as for changing it later...there is a certain time limit to change your name with SSA after getting married, and if you surpass that, it becomes a lot more difficult. As it was, it was a huge pain that took over 3 months...and that wasn't with credit cards added in - just SSA and driver's license. Plus the 4 weeks it took to get the stupid official marriage license!
Ah isn't it fun? My married name is a (now) popular girls name- god knows why, it's extremely harsh and unfeminine sounding. And yes, tell me about it- I failed to change my name with the SSA (but did everything else) so I have to file taxes under my maiden name, and my paycheck is issued to my maiden name... but my bank account is under my married name! :rolleyes:

Anyway- I think Dreamer's advice is excellent- acknowledge that he's being very sweet to try to protect you from unpleasantness, and go from there. At least you've got some time to revisit the issue, right? How much have you discussed it? Quite a bit already? Or has it just been one or two times? Hopefully if you bring it up a couple more times and explain calmly what your feelings are, eventually he'll come around when he realizes you do have strong feelings on the subject.

Good luck.
 

Fly Girl

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FrekeChild|1315973901|3017105 said:
Hmmm...yeah I don't really *get* his view?

My name is now Elizabeth Maidenname Marriedname. Which Social Security had a very difficult time dealing with--apparently not many women change their names to have their maiden name as their middle names. My maiden name was very much a part of my identity though and I couldn't just get rid of it!

I did the same thing 35 years ago, and use my maiden name as my middle name after I married. I remember the most difficulty when DS was born. The hospital insisted on listing my middle name followed by my maiden name on his birth certificate. Looks kind of stupid, since it is the same after I married. Whatever.

I'm happy I took DH's last name. It makes everyday life simpler in so many ways.
 

Indylady

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I can understand your SO's discomfort with discrimination.

Yesterday, someone asked me where I was from. I named the state my family lives in. And he said, "No really, where are you from?" I said, "Really, I am from that state" and then he proceeded to ask me, "No, I mean, what is your ethnicity? Where is your family from?" I'm from HERE, in the UNITED STATES. I was born here, I live here, I volunteer here, I went to public school from K-12, I recited the pledge every morning and sang the national anthem, and then I went to a state school, worked for the state government as an intern in college, graduated and then worked for the federal government of the United States, and now I'm at another state school (I think we study the same subject MissStepcut!). I pay taxes here, I vote here. I don't know any other anthems or pledges, my home is here. My whole life is here.

Americans like to recite their ancestry..but its because most of them are still considered American as long as they're white or black. "I'm British and Eastern European"..and no one says, "oh, but are you American?" There are times that even when I say I'm American, people don't believe me. If you haven't gone through the experience, I imagine its hard to understand, but I can get that your SO doesn't want to put you through the same. Likely though, it won't affect you as fundamentally as it may affect him, and at most people will give you a raised eyebrow, or they may say, "You're not South Asian" and you'll say, "No, I'm not".

I wish I had advice. Regardless though, I'll send you two a little compromise dust. Good luck MissStepcut! :wavey:
 

galeteia

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Easy solution:

Move to west Texas. They just changed the laws here to where you MUST take your husband's name within 30 days of marriage. :nono:

(My google-fu is sucking right now but I had 2 students married so far this year who were forced to change their names to their husband's as per the new law)

Serious answer: as it has been pointed out, you will be Mrs. Hisname in people's minds as soon as you meet anyway, so he's not sparing you anything.
 

LAJennifer

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I would agree to not change my name. Then I would insist on my children having my last name. But then again, I'm an A$$hole.
 

Octavia

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Galateia|1316151211|3018701 said:
Easy solution:

Move to west Texas. They just changed the laws here to where you MUST take your husband's name within 30 days of marriage. :nono:

(My google-fu is sucking right now but I had 2 students married so far this year who were forced to change their names to their husband's as per the new law)

Serious answer: as it has been pointed out, you will be Mrs. Hisname in people's minds as soon as you meet anyway, so he's not sparing you anything.

Gala, I just read through the Texas Family Code and I don't see any such law (unless it's so new it hasn't been published yet?). I'd love to know how your students were forced to do this, as the settled rule in most US jurisdictions is that a person can't be forced to change names due to a change in marital status. If Texas has decided to do this, I really can't wait for the lawsuits to begin...

ETA: I think I figured it out now -- name changes are not required, but if you want to, you have to request the change on your drivers license within 30 days of the change. The state will give you a hard time about it if you take longer than that.
 

fleur-de-lis

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LAJennifer|1316155785|3018712 said:
I would agree to not change my name. Then I would insist on my children having my last name. But then again, I'm an A$$hole.

:lol:
 

Haven

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I think this is a good opportunity for you to discuss his issues with his name and how it relates to identity, and maybe help him see another (more positive) side to the whole situation.

I looked forward to changing my last name when DH and I married even though my maiden name was a much easier and more appealing name to my eye and ear. However, and this is the strange part, my paternal grandparents changed their German surname to a very bland American surname when they came to this country in the 50s, and so I grew up with this very American surname despite the fact that I lived in a very ethnic world. (Actually, my maiden name is extremely common among African Americans, so I got a lot of surprised looks from teachers when they learned which name belonged to me on the first day of school.) My DH, however, has a German surname, despite the fact that his grandparents came to the U.S. from Russia in the 30s. SO, I was excited to FINALLY have the German surname that I should have had this entire time. Of course, I'm a second generation German Jewish American, so I've faced all sorts of identity issues, myself. I can't tell you how many times a kid in elementary school met a family member (usually on a field trip), heard the German accent and German name (Helga, Fritz), and then accused me of being a Nazi. Oy to the VEY.

I guess what I'm saying is I can sort of understand your FI's perspective, as someone who happily faced a potential name change because of how it would better gel with my identity. I do feel that you should be able to take his name if you really want to, and hopefully this will be a good opportunity to really discuss these things with your FI.

ETA:

Circe--Thank you for introducing me to the word grok! I like it.
 

BoulderGal

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MissStepcut|1315930473|3016567 said:
Circe nailed it exactly. He thinks it would be... weird? jarring? inappropriate? confusing? for a person of my ethnicity to have his last name, but that wouldn't be an issue with our racially mixed children.

He's farther in his career, so taking my name probably wouldn't work well, especially since he has publications.

Maybe hyphenating would help him get over it, but I am not the biggest fan of that... Right now my last name is short and only one syllable, his is also short and two syllable though, so maybe I will have to cope with that. If he didn't have such a strong opinion, I would have dropped my middle name and gone to Firstname Maidenname Hisname, which I guess is just a riff on hyphenating.

Actually MissStepcut, that's what I did when I got married. So, when I'm filling out legal stuff, BoulderGal goes in the first name spot, MaidenName goes in the middle, then HisLastName goes in the last name spot. Sometimes I wish I'd kept my original last name, but for the most part I'm happy with the decision I made. Losing the middle name was no big deal for me either. Also, it's a bit easier with kids when you all have the same last name.

I do think you two should talk more about it, and see why he feels the way he does. Good luck!
 

galeteia

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Octavia|1316185627|3018824 said:
Galateia|1316151211|3018701 said:
Easy solution:

Move to west Texas. They just changed the laws here to where you MUST take your husband's name within 30 days of marriage. :nono:

(My google-fu is sucking right now but I had 2 students married so far this year who were forced to change their names to their husband's as per the new law)

Serious answer: as it has been pointed out, you will be Mrs. Hisname in people's minds as soon as you meet anyway, so he's not sparing you anything.

Gala, I just read through the Texas Family Code and I don't see any such law (unless it's so new it hasn't been published yet?). I'd love to know how your students were forced to do this, as the settled rule in most US jurisdictions is that a person can't be forced to change names due to a change in marital status. If Texas has decided to do this, I really can't wait for the lawsuits to begin...

ETA: I think I figured it out now -- name changes are not required, but if you want to, you have to request the change on your drivers license within 30 days of the change. The state will give you a hard time about it if you take longer than that.

Personally, I think it's more likely that the county clerks handling their license requests are dingbats and don't understand the law. We had a whole discussion about it in class when it came up, and both had been informed they were required to change their name, not required to change it within X timeframe if they were planning on doing so, which would make more sense. One woman in particular was quite upset, as it was her second marriage and she had planned to keep the same name as her children.

To answer your question about it being new, if it was within the last 4 months, would it have been published yet?
 

Octavia

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Galateia|1316226368|3019269 said:
Personally, I think it's more likely that the county clerks handling their license requests are dingbats and don't understand the law. We had a whole discussion about it in class when it came up, and both had been informed they were required to change their name, not required to change it within X timeframe if they were planning on doing so, which would make more sense. One woman in particular was quite upset, as it was her second marriage and she had planned to keep the same name as her children.

To answer your question about it being new, if it was within the last 4 months, would it have been published yet?

You're probably right, county clerks never seem to know what the law really is, just what they'd like it to be. If the law came about within the last four months, it might not show up in the online code yet -- but name changes are governed by state law, so it's not just something that could happen in west TX. It would have to be statewide. I would imagine a law that far-reaching would be a matter of some discussion. All I found was the DPW site saying you have to get a new driving license within 30 days of the change, whether it's by marriage or court decree. So I think it's very likely your students were given bad information by clerks who were either ignorant or had an agenda (though I can't say for 100% certain).
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
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Jul 28, 2009
Messages
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Octavia|1316229330|3019288 said:
Galateia|1316226368|3019269 said:
Personally, I think it's more likely that the county clerks handling their license requests are dingbats and don't understand the law. We had a whole discussion about it in class when it came up, and both had been informed they were required to change their name, not required to change it within X timeframe if they were planning on doing so, which would make more sense. One woman in particular was quite upset, as it was her second marriage and she had planned to keep the same name as her children.

To answer your question about it being new, if it was within the last 4 months, would it have been published yet?

You're probably right, county clerks never seem to know what the law really is, just what they'd like it to be. If the law came about within the last four months, it might not show up in the online code yet -- but name changes are governed by state law, so it's not just something that could happen in west TX. It would have to be statewide. I would imagine a law that far-reaching would be a matter of some discussion. All I found was the DPW site saying you have to get a new driving license within 30 days of the change, whether it's by marriage or court decree. So I think it's very likely your students were given bad information by clerks who were either ignorant or had an agenda (though I can't say for 100% certain).
This is all bewildering to me, as the office issuing marriage licenses is not even where you legally change your name - you do that through DPS. I'm not sure how the county clerk issuing the marriage license could change anyone's name. ETA: even if they were erroneously told they had to change their name by the county clerk, I would think DPS could pretty quickly straighten that out.

Otherwise, there is no law in the state of Texas mandating a woman change her name following marriage. Octavia is correct - you are required to request a name change within 30 days of making the change. This does not equal within 30 days of marriage. It's also not specific to Texas to have such a requirement - I know Illinois requires notification within 10 days.
 
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