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Name Changing?

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Trelala

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
138
Hi Everyone,

I can''t decide whether or not to change my last name when I get married! My finace thought that when I marry, all the records magically change to his last name, hehe. I had to explain to him that I I have to run around to change my credit cards, passport, etc.

I''m wondering how many of you plan to keep your last name and what difficulties that might present. One friend said she heard that if I travel abroad with my kids, then I''ll have to bring their birth certificate along so customs officials know I''m the mother.

Do other ppl assume you''re not married? Will there be a problem with picking up kids from daycare?
 

psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
105
Date: 12/10/2006 2:24:30 AM
Author:Trelala
Hi Everyone,

I can''t decide whether or not to change my last name when I get married! My finace thought that when I marry, all the records magically change to his last name, hehe. I had to explain to him that I I have to run around to change my credit cards, passport, etc.

I''m wondering how many of you plan to keep your last name and what difficulties that might present. One friend said she heard that if I travel abroad with my kids, then I''ll have to bring their birth certificate along so customs officials know I''m the mother.

Do other ppl assume you''re not married? Will there be a problem with picking up kids from daycare?
My mom never changed her last name (her first name paired with his last name just sounded awful) and I can''t recall her ever having a problem. I''ve never heard of the travelling out of country issue before. I went out of the contry twice with my parents as a kid, and everything always went smoothly. Plus, would you ever be going out of the country with your kids and leaving the hubby behind??

As for daycare, I can''t see how that could be a problem either.. plenty of married (or unmarried) parents have different last names, and it was never a problem for my parents.
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,037
Do you want to keep your name on principal, or because of the hassle of changing your name? I wouldn''t keep your last name just to avoid the work of changing your name. But obviously if you really want to keep your last name, go for it. I doubt you would have too many problems in the future!
 

labbielove

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
862
I am not planning on changing my name, even before I met fi.
Although my reasons are not some super-feminist reason (i.e. if someone calls me Mrs. "fi''s last name") or refers to us the ("fi''s last name") that is fine with me. It''s more because after 39 years with my name, I don''t feel as though I want/need to change my identity just because I''m committing myself to someone in marriage.

My name is such a part of who I am. Although I have to say that FI''s sister said to me "if i were you i wouldn''t change my name either, since yours is so much nicer than ours." Hello- it''s NOT about what''s more aesthetically pleasing to the ear!!!

I''m just happy I have the support of my wonderful husband to be, no matter what I decide.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I added my husbands last name on to my own and made my last name my middle name so my documents now reads:

First Name Middle Name Middle Name Last Name

I didn''t want to give up my maiden name but I did want to take my husband''s name.

It really wasn''t that difficult to change my name, it just took some time, like 1/2 a day worth of appts and phone calls. The worst part was the social security office because it''s just a really depressing place. But I made appointments with them and the DMV so I didn''t have to wait at either place. The rest was just phone calls. I had my new license within two weeks (I live in CA).

I can''t answer your questions about day care and assumptions people make, I just wanted to share that it wasn''t that big of a deal.
 

stretch4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
4,360
All I can say is that like KimberlyH said, it really only took a half day (if that) to change EVERYTHING. I called all my CC companies and changed everything over the phone. I made a trip to the DMV to get a new license and to the SS office for a new SS card. I think the card came in the mail about two weeks later and of course I had my new driver''s license when I left the DMV. Finally I made a trip to my bank and simply had to sign a form with the name change and ordered new checks. All that was left to do was fill out a simple form for my passport and mail that. I received the new passport within a couple weeks.
 

RoseAngel04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
865
I''m changing my last name to my FI''s once we''re married. Some women don''t want to, which is great for them, but for ME I can''t wait to take my soon-to-be husbands last name!!
It''s just a matter of personal preference.
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
i cannot wait to change my name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is, if you have a last name like mine! lol!
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
5,471
Keep your last name if it''s part of your sense of who you are, or if you''re in a profession where your name is your ''brand'' (e.g., possibly law, certainly academia, etc.). Change it if you don''t care too much and like your hubby''s better.

The extra trouble taking the kids out of the country thing is DEFINITELY untrue. Well, except that you can''t take ANYONE kids or otherwise, across a border without a passport. But your kids will likely be listed on YOUR passport until they''re old enough to travel alone anyway. If they''re on your passport, pas de probleme.

But regardless, having the same last name as your kids hardly means you''re their mom. (eg., So, Mrs. Smith shows up at daycare and gets to pick up Mini Smith just because they have the same last name? ?? ! I HOPE the system is a little more sensible / secure than that!)

Plus, there are tonnes and tonnes of women who don''t change their name, and in some places, (e.g., Quebec) the default is to keep your name, so I''m sure it wouldn''t be that weird or unusual for immigration officers or daycare folks. Not suspicious or anything.

My mom re-married and so she and I have had different last names since I was 5, and it never caused a problem... ever.

So, make the decision based on whether you like the idea of all having the same name, or you like your hubby''s name better, or you feel strongly about your own name. But not on the basis of convenience! Just my 2/100 of a dollar.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 12/10/2006 11:11:51 AM
Author: KimberlyH
I added my husbands last name on to my own and made my last name my middle name so my documents now reads:

First Name Middle Name Middle Name Last Name

I didn''t want to give up my maiden name but I did want to take my husband''s name.

It really wasn''t that difficult to change my name, it just took some time, like 1/2 a day worth of appts and phone calls. The worst part was the social security office because it''s just a really depressing place. But I made appointments with them and the DMV so I didn''t have to wait at either place. The rest was just phone calls. I had my new license within two weeks (I live in CA).

I can''t answer your questions about day care and assumptions people make, I just wanted to share that it wasn''t that big of a deal.
LOL. When I TGuy first moved here, we obviously had to go to the SS office. He just sat around wide-eyed checking out all the walks of life. He said the SS office was "freaky."

I did not change my last name. I really struggled with this one. My parents immigrated here and had a difficult life. Their marriage suffered and never recuperated, but they stayed together. They worked hard and put us through school. Now they have very little money, live on SS, and while married finally live apart (although they are right on top of each other in a senior living apartment.)

My father is sick and detoriating from diabetes (my mother takes care of him). He and I never really got along, but I respect him for what he did to come here and try to make a better life for us. I don''t think he''ll be with us much longer, and I strongly felt that I wanted to keep my family name to honor my father and mother. They had such miserable lives here in the U.S. and I don''t want to forget that...and I just want to live my life happy and successful with my surname in remembrance of them. My mother actually cried when I told her that.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
One of my co-workers tells me she has to take the kids birth certificates with her when she travels because she didn''t change her name. They are not listed on her passport or anything like that. Is there a country that does that? I think that would be the only situation where I would be concerned. Daycares and schools are definitely used to parents and kids having different names.

I wasn''t sure if I wanted to change my name because I have an easy last name and my FI has a difficult one... people can never spell or pronounce it, which is weird because it looks pretty easy... but it''s German and it confuses people. The other reason I didn''t want to change it was that my first name and his last name both end in -ER and I thought it would be weird... My friends started calling me "ER-ER" when I told them about it. In the end I just figured it would make life easier and we would be more of a "unit" if I took his name. Also didn''t hurt that my first and last name is also the name of a porn star... I can''t google myself without blushing! Ha.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Change it if you don't care too much and like your hubby's better.

I can't WAIT to take his name--but that's because his is Japanese-Hawaiian while mine is (drumroll please).... Smith.

In my work, my name will be my "brand" so I'm hoping that the marriage happens before the "branding" happens, because otherwise I will likely have to keep Smith
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
I''m an academic. My name is practically everything in my career. It would be very detrimental to change my name completely. However, it would be fine to add another last name, hyphenate, or use a pen name. As long as people still associate me with my name, it will be okay. I haven''t decided what I will do yet, but my career is very important to me. I''m tempted to keep my name, and then have a "social" name that is his last name. My friends and family can call me by his name, but my legal documents and my publications will be my last name.
 

AmberWaves

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
3,672
Well, I''ve never really thought about not changing my name. I LOVE my own last name, but it''s VERY common, and it''s not like it''s going to die out if I take his. My mom went by her first husband''s name, and there was always the instance of people calling her Mrs. Amber''s last name, when it was really Mrs. First Husband''s last name. It was a little odd sometimes.
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
5,471
Have you considered that the kids could have your name? Or is there a law against that in the US? Or maybe hubby would hate that?

Sumbride: Was your co-worker talking about domestic travel? For traveling internationally, even a newborn needs a passport (or, at least in the case of EU to be listed in mom''s or dad''s. Used to be in Canada too, but I just looked and they changed it to combat child trafficing ... now everyone needs a separate passport in Canada. So probably in the US too?).

But I think I misunderstood... maybe you guys were talking about domestic flying to begin with!

The thing that puzzles me is: just because you have the same name as the kids you''re traveling with, doesn''t mean they''re your kids... They could be your distant cousins. They could be some of the 6 billion other Smiths. WEIRD! Why wouldn''t EVERYONE then need to show proof that the kids were theirs?

ACk. I''m confused. OK, I''ll shut up now.



And kcour. is right that you should consider any professional ramifications. I coudl never change my name for those reasons either. But for me, it''s more like Traveling Gal. My name is part of who I am. I could never give it up.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
Date: 12/10/2006 7:18:17 PM
Author: Independent Gal

Sumbride: Was your co-worker talking about domestic travel? For traveling internationally, even a newborn needs a passport (or, at least in the case of EU to be listed in mom''s or dad''s. Used to be in Canada too, but I just looked and they changed it to combat child trafficing ... now everyone needs a separate passport in Canada. So probably in the US too?).
In the case I''m talking about, it''s international travel. Her parents live in Belgium but both she and her kids (twin girls) have US passports and she takes them to her parents a couple of times a year, usually alone. The girls do have passports, but I don''t think they list the name of her parents. Maybe the new ones do? I know the one I had as a kid didn''t.

And I agree... last names shouldn''t equal parentage. alas, when customs officials do things that make sense....
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
5,471
My fave name-changing story was my friend K. She was born in Poland and has a totally unpronouncable last name with about 16 consonants in a row. And she''s a journalist. So all day she''s calling people and saying "It''s K. Kcochdrqyseska I have some q''s for you" and people are like "Whaaa?" and never returning her calls. Then she got engaged to a guy with a nice, pronouncable easy to spell last name that also has kind of a hard "don''t mess with me" edge to it. So when I asked her if she was changing her name she was like "Are you KIDDING me?!?! That''s WHY I''m marrying him!" . She did what KimH did and kept Kcochwakakl/glahksdghaska as a middle name.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 8:04:44 PM
Author: Independent Gal
My fave name-changing story was my friend K. She was born in Poland and has a totally unpronouncable last name with about 16 consonants in a row. And she''s a journalist. So all day she''s calling people and saying ''It''s K. Kcochdrqyseska I have some q''s for you'' and people are like ''Whaaa?'' and never returning her calls. Then she got engaged to a guy with a nice, pronouncable easy to spell last name that also has kind of a hard ''don''t mess with me'' edge to it. So when I asked her if she was changing her name she was like ''Are you KIDDING me?!?! That''s WHY I''m marrying him!'' . She did what KimH did and kept Kcochwakakl/glahksdghaska as a middle name.
Too funny! Good for her though on getting a pronouncable name!

*M*
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
501
I had always planned on keeping my name, because I felt it was part of my identity and didn''t like the feeling of having to give myself up when I got married. But recently, I''ve had change of hard and now I''m just conflicted. I really do like the idea that FI and I will be "The Andersons" (not real name). It makes me feel like we''re our own family unit, even though I am kind of joining his family to do so. Also, I would like to get rid of my last name as it is really my paternal grandfather''s last name, who was a horrible person. Conversely, FI''s paternal grandfather was revered, respected and loved...and is missed.

Does anyone here use their maiden and married name full time? As in, Mary Smith Anderson, where Smith is her maiden name?

Does anyone have their name legally as Mary Anderson but go by Mary Smith professionally, and if so has that been confusing? I''d really prefer to hear from people who have been doing this one for a while, since I know many of us young''uns plan on this.

Did anyone take their husband''s last name and now regret it?

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 8:59:07 PM
Author: Kit
I had always planned on keeping my name, because I felt it was part of my identity and didn''t like the feeling of having to give myself up when I got married. But recently, I''ve had change of hard and now I''m just conflicted. I really do like the idea that FI and I will be ''The Andersons'' (not real name). It makes me feel like we''re our own family unit, even though I am kind of joining his family to do so. Also, I would like to get rid of my last name as it is really my paternal grandfather''s last name, who was a horrible person. Conversely, FI''s paternal grandfather was revered, respected and loved...and is missed.

Does anyone here use their maiden and married name full time? As in, Mary Smith Anderson, where Smith is her maiden name?

Does anyone have their name legally as Mary Anderson but go by Mary Smith professionally, and if so has that been confusing? I''d really prefer to hear from people who have been doing this one for a while, since I know many of us young''uns plan on this.

Did anyone take their husband''s last name and now regret it?

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
My mom wanted me to do the Mary Smith Anderson thing... but I have two middle names to begin with, and I didn''t want to have to write five different names to sign a check or something! I just took my husband''s name and don''t regret it all. I''m young, so anything I do professionally will be attached to my "new" name... even my college diploma. I think it is just a very personal thing that you can only figure out as the date gets closer and you sort it out more.

*M*
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
well, i certainly haven''t been doing this for "a while", but thought i''d reply anyway.

initially i wasn''t going to change my name at all. there were a couple of factors for this. first, i''m in my thirties and my name has worked for me just fine over the years. also, my last name is hispanic and i am the daughter of immigrants. while i am defintely proud to be an american, i am just as proud of my heritage. it is a big part of me. my husband is not hispanic and, therefore, neither is his last name. so dropping my last name felt like i was somehow losing a part of my heritage. i know that''s not the case, but it''s just how i felt.

i ultimately decided to hyphenate. i feel like my husband and i are truly a family so having the same last name feels "right". but i also feel like i am still very much the woman i was before and so it felt "right" to keep my last name as well. it does become confusing for some people, but it works for me. in my career people usually refer to me by my maiden name and socially they refer to me by my married name. i don''t usually correct people. i am both names.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,009
I think it really is a personal choice. Very few (well, no) people I know baised their decision on changing their name on what a PITA it is (which it is) to do it. The biggest pain has been with the airline FF clubs/memberships. I don''t have kids yet so I don''t know about going out of the country. I do know that now even babies have to have a passport of their own. I changed my name b/c I *love* having the same last name as my husband. I did however drop my middle name and keep my maiden name because it is also a part of me (and a very cool name
)
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 12/10/2006 6:02:50 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 12/10/2006 11:11:51 AM
Author: KimberlyH
I added my husbands last name on to my own and made my last name my middle name so my documents now reads:

First Name Middle Name Middle Name Last Name

I didn''t want to give up my maiden name but I did want to take my husband''s name.

It really wasn''t that difficult to change my name, it just took some time, like 1/2 a day worth of appts and phone calls. The worst part was the social security office because it''s just a really depressing place. But I made appointments with them and the DMV so I didn''t have to wait at either place. The rest was just phone calls. I had my new license within two weeks (I live in CA).

I can''t answer your questions about day care and assumptions people make, I just wanted to share that it wasn''t that big of a deal.
LOL. When I TGuy first moved here, we obviously had to go to the SS office. He just sat around wide-eyed checking out all the walks of life. He said the SS office was ''freaky.''

I did not change my last name. I really struggled with this one. My parents immigrated here and had a difficult life. Their marriage suffered and never recuperated, but they stayed together. They worked hard and put us through school. Now they have very little money, live on SS, and while married finally live apart (although they are right on top of each other in a senior living apartment.)

My father is sick and detoriating from diabetes (my mother takes care of him). He and I never really got along, but I respect him for what he did to come here and try to make a better life for us. I don''t think he''ll be with us much longer, and I strongly felt that I wanted to keep my family name to honor my father and mother. They had such miserable lives here in the U.S. and I don''t want to forget that...and I just want to live my life happy and successful with my surname in remembrance of them. My mother actually cried when I told her that.
My SS office stories are quite sad and funny at the same time so I won''t share as I don''t want to deter Trelala from changing her name simply to avoid the SS office. I do highly recommend an appt. though to make the visit as brief as possible.

I did cry when reading your post, TG. Very sweet and honorable of you. My story is nothing like yours, but I wanted my maiden name to remain part of who I am because of the respect I feel for my father, the person he is and the life he worked so hard to create for his family, my mother, sister and I. So I understand the attachment.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 12/10/2006 10:34:01 PM
Author: KimberlyH


My SS office stories are quite sad and funny at the same time so I won''t share as I don''t want to deter Trelala from changing her name simply to avoid the SS office. I do highly recommend an appt. though to make the visit as brief as possible.

I did cry when reading your post, TG. Very sweet and honorable of you. My story is nothing like yours, but I wanted my maiden name to remain part of who I am because of the respect I feel for my father, the person he is and the life he worked so hard to create for his family, my mother, sister and I. So I understand the attachment.
I can only imagine how funny your stories are. We were awed from just the people watching and overhearing snippets of conversations.

Well...didn''t mean to make ya cry! Last I checked, crying is bad for pretty eyes.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
You could always move your last name to your middle name also if you wanted to keep it in your name without the hyphen. My last name would actually be a guy's name, but I guess in Scottish tradition often the middle name is the father's mother's maiden name...or something like that, so you could def do it. I'm debating it....I am taking FI's last name but my married name is going to be very "sing songy" sounding but will be a shorter signature, so I'll take it! I just may add in my own last name as my middle name to keep it sounding a little better to me. haha
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
I''m pretty sure that I''m going to go by FirstName MiddleName MaidenName HisName. I know that it can be a bit of a hassle to change my name, but I''m not really factoring that into the decision -- millions and millions of women have gone through it before me, so I feel like I can certainly do it.


SweetPea, I didn''t know that that was a Scottish tradition. Most of the Southerners I know have family names as their middle name -- mine is my maternal great-grandmother''s maiden name. It also happens to look a lot like a misspelling of a boy''s name. I went by it until I was about five or six and suddenly realized that it wasn''t my first name and got very indignant that everyone had lied to me about my name, haha. But because of the family connection and the fact that I went by it for part of my life, I don''t want to drop it. So four names it is.

It seems weird to me that there would be difficulties traveling if a mother''s last name is different than that of her children. In some countries, don''t women not change their name when they get married?
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
I have a first and last name that really goes well together.........for example how Sunny Days or Green Pastures would go together lol...........so, truly, changing my last name makes my first name seem.....odd. I mean, really....Sunny? as a first name??? GREEN??? oh heck no!!!

Anyway, my fiance and I really agree on this that my last name shall remain :)

I may hyphenate it to be, to continue with above silly examples, Sunny Days-Smith.........or I may not.

Either way, our children WILL be hyphenated.

So, he and I will remain Days and Smith but our child(ren) will be Days-Smith.

Did any of that makes sense?

We actually thought to NOT give our kid(s) middle names due to the two last names they willl have but since our last names combined only have 3 syllables.....we figure that is shorter than some single last names anyway so what the heck :)

I am also VERY happy that fiance does not have an issue about this at all. He is very supportive.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
Date: 12/10/2006 11:22:44 PM
Author: Blenheim
I'm pretty sure that I'm going to go by FirstName MiddleName MaidenName HisName. I know that it can be a bit of a hassle to change my name, but I'm not really factoring that into the decision -- millions and millions of women have gone through it before me, so I feel like I can certainly do it.


SweetPea, I didn't know that that was a Scottish tradition. Most of the Southerners I know have family names as their middle name -- mine is my maternal great-grandmother's maiden name. It also happens to look a lot like a misspelling of a boy's name. I went by it until I was about five or six and suddenly realized that it wasn't my first name and got very indignant that everyone had lied to me about my name, haha. But because of the family connection and the fact that I went by it for part of my life, I don't want to drop it. So four names it is.

It seems weird to me that there would be difficulties traveling if a mother's last name is different than that of her children. In some countries, don't women not change their name when they get married?
Yeah, my dad wanted my middle name to be Ann-MacBride after his mother's maiden name but luckily they did not go with that, even though it's tradition. Now I can move my last name down into my middle name if I want to! I'm not ultra connected to my last name, but I think it'll sound better and be nice to have so I'll move it to middle rather than hypenate a last name.

My new name when married literally sounds like "lalala"....ugh...haha
People already tease me for being "too happy" at work and now I'm going to have a name that sounds like a teletubby name...
 

Trelala

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
138
Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for all your ideas and stories, loved reading them.
Yes, I meant international travel. When I was growing up, both sets of grandparents were abroad, so my mom and us kids often visited relatives without dad. Now that my parents chose to live abroad, I''m pretty sure visits with my future kids without my husband will occur often. I just don''t see my husband getting the time-off he needs for such a trip, plus it''s a financial burden.

There''s no way that my kids can take my last name, just almost unheard of in our families'' culture. His grandma is desperately waiting for a grandchild that bears his last name.

I do have a story about my uncle though! His wife has two other sisters in her family but no brother to carry on their last name. So her father told my uncle that if they marry, their first son must take on his wife''s last name. My uncle agreed, much to many ppl''s shock, haha. Today they have two sons with two different last names. When the two boys were growing up, they always had to explain to ppl why they really were brothers despite the last name.

Looks like First Name Middle Name Middle Name Last Name may work best for me. I also like the (for lack of better term) neat and tidiness of having his last name.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I changed my name because there was no reason not to. I did not have a career in which I used my maiden name and wanted to continue to be recognized, so it was fine.

It can be confusing to the kids, but I have friends where the mom kept her maiden name, say Jones, and the husband is Smith. The kids are Smith, and they refer to themselves as the Jones-Smith family. Maybe your kids have to be hyphenated, like you are Susie Smith, your hubby is Joe Jones and the kids are Billy and Cindy Smith Jones...not sure, but I have seen that before as well.

What about a mom who remarries and has the new hubby''s names but the kids have their birth father''s last name? Maybe nowdays you do need paperwork, I think because of kidnapping issues, the government wants to make sure you are who you say you are...
 
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