Changing last name socially but not legally?

posted 2 years ago in Names
  • poll: A married woman should:
    Always take her husband's last name : (7 votes)
    6 %
    Keep her own last name if she wants to : (87 votes)
    77 %
    Changing last name socially but not legally : (10 votes)
    9 %
    Other, please explain : (9 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 2
    579 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    Interesting! I’m in the same boat as you. I’m looking forward to what people say!

    Post # 3
    6435 posts
    Bee Keeper

    It could be confusing if you use two different last names. At some point, someone to whom you introduce yourself as Maiden Name may see your written legal New Name and not know who it is. Maybe you could use your maiden name as your middle name. When FI and I get married, I will change to (first name) (maiden name) (FI’s last name). 

    Post # 4
    2064 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    axia08:  I wouldn’t be concerned about lying, because I think it’s fine, except in legal situations, to call yourself whatever you want. Plenty of pepole go by nicknames, middle names, etc. However, I would be concerned about causing confusion. For example you present yourself as Mrs. R, so someone write you a check addressed to Mrs R….the bank won’t cash it because your name is really Mrs M. You would also have to be careful booking flights, with legal documents, or anytime an ID is required. I don’t know what your job is, but for me this would also create a big mix up professionally. 

    Post # 5
    1116 posts
    Bumble bee

    axia08:  I am also strongly feminist but interpret it as meaning men and women should have the same opportunities and choices.  There is nothing wrong with choosing to take his name, choosing to keep your own names or him choosing to take your name as long as it was a choice to do it rather than that you felt that you had to etc

    Post # 6
    544 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I think it might be different according to where you live. In BC Canada where I live, you don’t actually legally take your husband’s name, you assume it if you want. If you were to get divorced, you just assume your maiden name.  So I use both, at work I’m my maiden name and socially I’m my married name. I am in the process of getting ID in both my names.  

    Post # 7
    143 posts
    Blushing bee

    I recently read somewhere that Mrs. is technically a title you inheret regardless of name change, so you certainly wouldn’t be lying! One of my best friends uses her birth name at work, married name socially. It doesn’t seem to cause too many issues.

    I’m a feminist and believe true feminism allows women to make choices for themselves. You can absolutely be a diehard feminist and take your SO’s name. While I feel a little sad sometimes that the number of U.S. women choosing to keep their birth name is lower than it has been in 20 years, I am encouraged that so many women are thoughtfully and freely deciding what is ultimately right for them. 

    I have always known I would keep my name, but honestly if my fiance’s last name wasn’t 16 letters long I might have more seriously considered hyphenation socially, my name professionally. 

    Post # 8
    45 posts

    Have you considered hyphenating your last name with his?  Best of both worlds. You get to keep your maiden name and satisfy your feminist nature, while still taking your husbands name. 

    Post # 9
    587 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    axia08:  I too am a feminist but I interpret that to mean women having the freedom to do as they please. If having your husband’s last name will make you happy then do it! I plan on taking my husbands last name after we are married and I don’t think it makes me any less of an advocate for women than if I kept my maiden name. 

    Post # 10
    9525 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think it’s totally fine to change your name legally or just socially. Though, if you’re going to always use his last name, it would be easier to go the whole shebang and change it legally.

    Personally, I decided to keep my maiden name, but I’m still using it all the time. I don’t mind when people mistakenly call me by my husband’s last name, butI always use mine. But, that was my decision. I have no problem with women taking heir husband’s name, if that’s what they want to do. I only have a problem if women feel pressured to take their husband’s name when they don’t want to.

    And, if it makes you feel better, my husband is probably going to take my last name when we have a kid! I wouldn’t say it’s super common yet, but it getting there! So if that was your criteria, then change without guilt!

    Post # 11
    2698 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    axia08:  I use 2 different last names. I never planned on changing my last name after marriage but it seemed to mean a lot to DH. I use my maiden name professionally and my married name socially. I know many women who ended up doing this, especially if they married after being professionally established.

    Post # 12
    2698 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    axia08:  Its not really lying. People are not entitled to full disclosure of personal details, they just seem to think they are.

    Post # 13
    3197 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    axia08:  I think it’s harder in the U.S. to do that since jobs will use your legal name and so will schools.  I hypenated and use my full name just for legal documents, but go back and forth between using his alone or my original name alone as the situation sees fit.

    Post # 14
    1583 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I’m using my name hyphenated for work and using my FI’s last name legally. Had to decide this week as we’re ordering new business cards at work lol.

    Post # 15
    1040 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Im just married and I work as a doctor, and I’m keeping my maiden name at the moment (might switch in the future if we have kids). At my stage in training I may have to switch jobs quite often, so having my name be recognisable is important for references. Plus it would be a major hassle for registration etc – much easier to keep the same name as on my degree. It’s pretty common amongst doctors to use their married name socially and their maiden name professionally, and I’ve never thought of it as being dishonest – it’s just good sense. 



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