Post # 1
The FI and I are having some issues regarding our name change issues… We’ve decided that we want to do what we’re calling a ‘name smash.’ We’ve been discussing this since December, and we want to recognize both of our lineages by including 3-4 letters from each of our last names in one new last name. Now the questions:
1) Has anyone done this? How did you go about doing it? We’ll be getting married in Pennsylvania but probably moving to Washington State right after the wedding… Do we have to change our name in one state or the other since they have different laws???
2) My parents are all for it… but his parents hate the idea. His mom because it’s a slap in the face to the family line and how would they explain this to the world?! But his Dad just because its ‘impractical.’ They’re concerned that the government then wouldn’t recognize our union, we’d lose out on marital benefits, we’d have problems with loans/getting loans and that he would lose access to his inheritance when the time came for that. The list goes on. I think most of that is probably lies… but want to check with others to make sure. If you’ve done something like this, have you faced any difficulties like this?
Any light shed on this issue would be rather helpful. I’ve done some research, but it hasn’t been very helpful and we’re both going to continue to do research. But if you’ve done this, or know of anyone who has done this, any information would be greatly appriciated! Thanks SOOOO much!!! 🙂
Post # 3
I don’t think it matters which state you do it in but the two of you might have to go to court in order to legally change your name. You aren’t going to have any problems with losing marriage benefits or anything because you will change your name with the Social Security Administration first and then your Drivers license. With those two things changed, you can change your name anywhere with just a photo ID.
Post # 4
We are not doing this. I can empathize with his parents. It is kind of like a slap in the face to them. They were probably looking forward to grandkids with their lastname and that lastname continuing to carry on the family name. Doing your ‘name smash’ would take that away from them. As for the legalities, you should speak with a lawyer about the possible ramifications of this. If you do this, you will probably have to have your FI change his name prior to the wedding, then you would take his new name. You will have to petition the court in your area for his name change. If you do it after the wedding, you will both have to petition the court.
Post # 5
@Noritake While I can understand that viewpoint, we have discussed how we don’t think it’s right for me to lose my last name and to only take on his. That is how tradition goes, but its not equal to both sides. We see me taking his name as too reminicent of him “posessing” me like a piece of property. That is how marriage is based and we understand that is how the tradition started, but we don’t like the basis of that tradition- it doesn’t fit our relationship and how we view marriage. We don’t understand why his parents should have grandchildren with his name… but my parents shouldn’t have grandchildren with theirs. With that said- thanks for the tip on him changing his name early! We’ll definitely look into that.
Post # 6
You are very welcome. You could always not take his name and then when/if you decide to have children, you could name the girls with your last name and the boys with his last name or vice versa. I can understand your veiwpoint too. And I am glad your parents are happy with your decision.
Post # 7
You might check the laws of the two states—in ours, both parties can change to a new single name that is a combo of the two original names as part of the marriage license process. It’s a little more complicated to do after you’re already married, at least in California—but still very do-able. So I’d see which state it’s simplest in and just do it there.
I do know people who’ve done this and also some who’ve created an entirely new name (more complicated, not one of the name change options through the marriage license in CA so for that the best way is for one person to change it before marriage) and like that they’ve created a name unique to their new family—but both situations have the downside of not continuing the family name(s). None of the logistical problems your in-laws came up with are a problem—remember that in many states you can change your name to whatever you want, and of course that doesn’t affect who you actually are!—but it is probably important to talk through why you both came to this very personal decision with your MIL until she’s comfortable with it or at least comes to term with it. I do actually think this is a much easier one to explain to family than choosing a new name all together—you really are preserving different pieces of both families.
Post # 8
@CinnamonStick – we aren’t combining the letters of our names, but we are combining our last names, i.e. I’m J Smith and he’s K Anderson and we’ll both be the Smith Andersons after we get married. We feel the same way you do! Also, where I’m from, brides don’t traditionally change their names after marriage anyway, and doing so would kind of feel like a “slap in the face” to my family – but that’s just me.
I did find this online, which seems like a good place to start before consulting a lawyer or another professional who would be more knowledgeable: http://www.ehow.com/how_4640_change-name-after.html
It looks like in my county, our marriage license has a space for both the bride and groom to record their official names after marriage, so that will probably help when we begin the name change process with the SSA and our drivers licenses.
Good luck with your name changing! 🙂
Post # 9
We are doing this too!! I posted about this a few weeks ago. I have yet to call the courts in my area, but I definitely need to.
I think we are going to have my future husband change his name prior to the wedding by filing a name change petition. Then when we get married I’ll be able to take his name, without having to go through the name change petition.
I know in my state the name change petition costs $167 and then you have to post it in the paper once a week for three weeks (so that will be an additional small cost).
I wish more people had done this already so we had some more definitive answers. Hopefully you can call your county court and get the answers (I know I need to soon)
Post # 10
We’ve discussed that too. Our names are pretty similar, both 4 letters, start with the same letter. I want to keep mine, he would prefer I take his name so we are thinking about combining. If we did a “name smash” neither of us would end up much different than before. Probably won’t actually happen, we’re currently just discussing but I’d like to hear what you guys find!