Post # 1
I’ve been struggling with the name change decision for months, and now it’s down to the wire — the wedding is this weekend. I’m leaning toward dropping my maiden name and changing my name legally to MyFirst MyLast HisLast. Socially I’ll probably use MyFirst HisLast.
But I already have a professional reputation under my maiden name, so I’m planning to keep it at work — I’ll still be known as MyFirst MyLast professionally. I wish I could use MyFirst MyLast HisLast, but we both have very long names already (one is actually already hyphenated) so that’s just not an option.
Does anyone have any experience keeping their maiden name at work? Are there complications that I haven’t thought of to paying my taxes, getting my health insurance, passport etc. under a different name than I use at work? Thanks!
Post # 3
I think most people who keep their maiden name professionally keep the maiden name legally and just use the married name socially. I believe this is because of the logistics of your name on paychecks, social security, taxes, medical insurance, etc… being different from your name on your mailbox, work directory, email address, etc…
If your married name is your legal name, you will still have to change your name at work, at least with HR and the finance/payroll department. I know at our company, once someone changes their name with HR, we use the new name. So if you are Firstname YourLast Hislast on all of our HR paperwork, we will use that name for all work-related things (i.e. letters, updates, you will be that way in the HR computer programs, your personnel file will have that name on it, etc…). If you continued to use your maiden name, I could see some problems arising when people start to forget both names. Here’s an example: if you switched jobs and your new company calls the old company to verify past employment, they would be calling about Firstname Yourlast. In all of our HR systems, though, you’ll be listed as Firstname Yourlast Hislast, so your verification could be held up or even deined since Firstname Yourlast didn’t work for our company. It could also cause problems in terms of getting recognition, education/training credits, promotions, or raises when someone recommends Firstname Yourlast, but our system only has Firstname Yourlast Hislast. At the worst, those things would be denied; at the best, it would take HR/finance a long time and extra paperwork to figure out that Firstname Yourlast is the same person as Firstname Yourlast Hislast.
Post # 4
If you want to keep your maiden name professionally, then don’t change your name. Companies won’t let you get paid under one name and work under another (its an HR logistical nightmare).
Talk to your HR department at work to verify.
Post # 5
I kept my maiden name professionally. In the finance world, if I changed my anme my clients would have a panic attack. However, Im having it legally changed to Kelly Hislastname. For email and business card purposes, Ive asked my comapny to leave it my current name. Because his last name is shorter than mine, I hyphenate it in the signature so everyone knows I married, but my email address is still maiden. If youre going to change it legally, your SSN and paychecks, etc have to be in your legal name. But you can ask for business cards, email, etc to remain the same
Post # 6
I work at a large university and see this all the time as many female professors have been published under their maiden name. Usually your company will let you keep your user name & business cards the same (its probably easier & cheaper for them anyway) as long as you let your boss, coworkers and HR know what you’re doing.
I’ll be doing the same thing so I don’t think you’ll have a problem. Just get ready to answer a few more questions 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I used to work for someone who got married while she was with the firm–the company knew she was legally First Hislast and booked her travel that way (etc) but her email address and signage remained First Herlast, which is also the name that clients knew her as.
To tell you the truth, as her assistant, it was kind of confusing.
I think it’s easier to legally keep your maiden name and socially use your married name, although if you’re thinking of changing your name to share a last name with future children, then you might have the same problem socially that you would have professionally.
Long story short, I think that using two different names is going to be a pain in the butt no matter which way you slice it. Good luck either way!
Post # 8
I think I have the best of all worlds – I hypenated after getting married, and use First Maiden with clients and for work, First Maiden-HisLast on all legal docs (incl. credit cards, etc.) and use either First Maiden or First Maiden-Hislast socially. My initial reason for doing this is that I work in a field where I would prefer my clients not be able to locate me outside of the work setting (yep, I’m one of those that keeps myself off google, etc.) and this is the perfect answer. HR has been fine with it (a number of coworkers have done the same) and so far I’m loving it!
Post # 9
I think IronMaiden’s way (hyphenating) would be least confusing, if you really want your husband’s last name as your legal name. That way, your maiden name and your married name are both technically your last name, so you could use either alone or both professionally, but to HR and finance you would still be the same person.
Post # 10
Unfortunately I really can’t hyphenate, as one of our names is already hyphenated — I wish I could go that route.
Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. It sounds like a lot if it has to do with how accomodating your company’s HR department is. I’ll definitely check with mine this week.
Post # 11
I’m keeping my maiden name at work. I work for the family business so I’ll change it on my paycheck and 401K stuff but on my email and business cards I’ll keep it the same. I’ll probably add my married name as a hypen on my signature at the bottom of emails.
Post # 12
You see this happen in theatre all the time. Lots of married actresses will keep their maiden name professionally but their legal name will be HerFirst HisLast. If you’re just using it as the name you’re known as then it’s fine, just be sure that the company know your legal, real name for contracts, if they book any travel for you, etc.
This is what I’ll be doing after my wedding as well. And I’m not worried about it. It’s really pretty common in most sectors. It does depend on who you work with. It may be confusing for colleagues but it’s something that’s pretty easily cleared up.
Post # 13
I did exactly what you’re proposing- I legally changed my name to MyFirst HisLast (I made my maiden name my legal middle name). Professionally, I use my maiden name. I haven’t had a single problem. My paycheck/health insurance/taxes/401k, etc, is all in my legal married name. But for all work purposes, I only use my maiden name. My professional certifications are in my maiden name. It’s been over a year, and so far I’m very happy with my choice. I am curious to see how I feel in 10 years, after we have kids, but I kinda like having some separation between my work and private lives. In any case- if you want to keep your maiden name professionally, but chang it legally, it’s totally a valid option!