Post # 1
Anyone else going in circles about what to do?
I decided I want to take my husband’s last name as my own. And i am really excited to do so.
Now thinking about the logistics. I have been in school forever. So i have a bachelors and masters degree in psychology with my maiden name. I am even a licensed psychologist in the province of Quebec with my maiden name.
I have been a PhD student in clinical psychology in Quebec with my maiden name for the past 6 years, and do i don’t think i can change it to show up as my married name on my diploma when i graduate next year (partly because i have heard how difficult it is in Quebec to change your name since apparently marriage does not constitute a valid reason for name change!).
Also, i know tons of married people in my program who have decided to change their name legally to their DH, but keep their maiden name in their practice. Which makes total sense. Makes it a heck a lot easiser to prevent clients for example, to find you on facebook, or anywhere in your personal life for that matter.
My issue is, part of me wants to change my name completely and cut all ties with my maiden name. So that would mean changing it professionally as well – which could result in having my DH’s name as my professional and personal name – but in my future office, where i have to hang my PhD diploma on the wall, the name will be different! (as it will say my maiden name). And i could look into changing my name on my school records – but then part of me also wants to keep all my degrees consistent name-wise!
anyway, i just want to know your thoughts on the matter, and what you decided to do in your career – i presume this issue can apply to numerous fields outside of psychology as well.
What other “issues” can come up that i have not thoguht of that might help me to figure out what to do.
oh and for record, DH and i have no intention of settling in Quebec. In fact, we are living in Ontario right now, so i WILL be able to change my name for sure after i graduate and can officially become an Ontario resident.
Post # 3
I totally hear you. I kept my maiden name (professionally and personally) for these reasons. I just sent in my application for licensure continuation (happens every 2 years) and was so grateful I didn’t have to provide the 1.7 million documents they needed for a name change. Another big one is the re-application period – if you changed names mid-time, you had to reapply immediately (which meant another 300 dollars mid-licensure cycle – ouch).
A lot of my girl friends have done the change it personally, keep it professionally route, and it works for them.
Post # 4
I don’t have this issue personally, but my mentor at work is a school psychologist. She works mainly in the school system, but had published lots of work under her maiden name. She chose to hypenate her name legally and professionally, but goes by her married name socially and with her students. It’s a good compromise for her. I don’t know what she did as far as her degrees are concerned, though. I know she’s in the middle of her doctorate, but has been married for several years now, so it may all be under her hyphenated name.
In my profession, it’s easy to change my name on everything because I have nothing published or anything notable that people would know who I am. I am changing my name on my certifications, but keeping my maiden on all my diplomas and such from college. For me, that part of my life happened before DH and I wasn’t married to him then, so I don’t want to confuse myself 50 years from now about if I got married before or after college. 😉
Post # 5
@dynamic_duo: I’m not yet engaged, but we have had discussions about last names.
I, too, would love to keep my maiden name professionally and take his last socially. I have not been able to find anything indicating whether or not this is possible.
I just wanted to give this a bump because it’s an excellent question, and I’m curious to know if anyone can shed some light on the subject!
Post # 6
I am in a field similar to yours, and I will be going back to school within the next year. That being said, I’ll probably keep my maiden name as my ‘work’ name and socially be called by my new name, such as with bank accounts, things we share together. But when it comes to my career, I am probably going to just stay me.
Post # 7
I’m a physician, and have just gone through changing my name. I really wanted to change it, and didn’t see how it would work to have two different names — either you change it legally or you don’t, no? And why should I not be able to have his last name, just because I’m a doctor and got married older (late 30s)?
I changed my name legally (Social Security, driver’s license) last month. I made my maiden name my middle name, and dropped my old middle name. The final bits of the professional name change have just gone through this week — changed my license, board certification, etc, etc. It feels pretty weird so far… In some ways, I wish I’d hyphenated, or had two last names instead of Middlename Lastname; I didn’t realize so much professional stuff doesn’t allow including middle name. But I didn’t want to be stuck with using that maiden name forever on everything. It’s just a cleaner break than I really wanted. Still, I’m so so happy for us to have the same name.
Post # 8
@RoseTyler: This is exactly what I want to do! (drop middle name and replace with last name) Can you tell me what you had to do to do this legally? I have heard mixed opinions on whether you are allowed to do that with the standard marriage name change, or if you need a court order.
I am also in this situation. I am a PhD student, and part of me is pround of my accomplishments with my maiden name and would like to keep it professionally. But I have read that depending on what career path I take post-doctorate, it may pose problems if if my legal and professional name don’t match. So I’m stuck, I want to take his name because I want our family to all have same name, but I want my professional identity as well!
Post # 9
@ChemistryBride: as far as turning current middle to current maiden, just tell them when you file at social security. they said, “okay, changing surname?” and I said, “actually, I’d prefer it to be Sorrycharlie M. Maiden Hubs” (the M. is prior middle name).
On all my documents, though – license, etc – it’s just Sorrycharlie Maiden Hubs. Sometimes I use all 3, sometimes I don’t.
For the record, my BA is SorryCharlie Middle Maiden, and my MA will be SorryCharlie M. Maiden Hubs.
When I began my current job, I was not married (SorryCharlie Maiden) – so now that I am, to ease confusion with anyone, I’ve been addressing myself as SorryCharlie Maiden Hubs.
Hope that made sense! LOL!
Post # 10
This is a really interesting topic. Everyone has such different opinions 🙂 I have thought about this a lot and I have also decided to take my SO’s name once we get married. However, before that day comes I would have graduated from university with my maiden name on all of my certificates. My profession is teaching so I am quite lucky as I can use my maiden name at school and then use my future DH’s surename outside of work. This will be beneficial for me because students will be unable to contact me on facebook (which can get me into a lot of trouble!!) and they also will find it difficult to locate any personal details of mine. I am excited to take the name of the man I love but at the same time I will always have a connection to my maiden name and it will always be part of me. So I guess this way I wll experience the best of both worlds 🙂
Post # 11
@kfiorita: thats a good point about facebook. Psychologists also have to worry about our patients trying to add us! DH and a lot of my other psychologist friends have been changing their facebook name to firstname middlename and that’s it. However, my married psychologist friends have changed it to firstname hubslastname, because in their practice they go by their maiden name. I am still undecided, but have for the time being decided to keep my name as it is until i graduate from my PhD – hopefully by the summer. so all my diplomas will have my maiden name. i guess then it really makes sense to keep my maiden name in practice since I will likely have to display my PhD in my office….hmmm…..i guess that’s what i will end up doing unless i think of some brilliant solution!
Post # 12
I’m a psychotherapist in private practice and have decided to do the two names route. Personally, I’ll take my fiancee’s last name and professionally I’ll keep my last name. For me, there are a few logistical reasons, my website address, my twitter, and my blog has both my first and last names on it and I don’t want to confuse future clients. And, though my current clients will be aware that I’m going out of town for a few weeks to get married, I don’t want to rock the boat too much by adding a name change into the mix especially since I work with a lot of couples or people dealing with relationship problems. Just my two cents, good luck!
Post # 13
I’ll be changing my name right after the wedding, a few years into practicing law. It’ll be a pain, and all my degrees have my maiden name on them, but oh well. As a lawyer, you can’t use one name socially and one professionally- everything really has to match. I don’t think it’ll be a problem because women change their last name when they get married all the time. People who see your degrees on your wall with your maiden name will just assume that you got married since you graduated. If it was something more unusual, like a man changing his name or a woman changing her first name, it would be a huge hassle.
Post # 14
@MissBananaBread: yup, i feel exactly the same way. I couldn’t imagine trying to use separate names professionally and socially as a lawyer, it just seemed too confusing. And i am excited to have taken my husband’s name! but the transition is definitely a bit difficult – transitioning at work is going to take some time (have to inform the state bar, the courts, the agencies, clients). That said, it is kind of exciting! and for me, since i work with the IRS frequently, it would have been a mess to have my last name not match up with my SSN!
Post # 15
I am also facing a dilemma about how to change my name. I have a fairly public job and worry about people I deal with at work finding me online and coming to my house. I have been married for almost 8 months and haven’t changed my name on anything.
Right now at work I am still going by my maiden last name which is pretty unique. My husband’s last name is very common and much easier to spell so it would make sense for me to change it to his. I do feel a sense of attachment though to my maiden name since it is unique and my college degrees are in that name.
I am debating whether to drop my last name for his or drop my middle name for my maiden name. That way I can still keep a part of my maiden name in my new name. Tough decisions!!! I have heard from a few friends that having your maiden name as a part of your new married name makes it easier when dealing with future name change issues. Is this true for anyone else?