(Closed) Changing last name socially but not legally?

posted 5 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 : (93 votes)
    78 %
    Changing last name socially but not legally : (10 votes)
    8 %
    Other, please explain : (9 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 17
    554 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    axia08:  For legal docs like DL or passport, I just show my marriage licence if I want to change it to my husband’s last name.  No real difference at all. If I want to change it back to my maiden name, same thing: show my marriage licence and birth certificate.  

    Post # 18
    6368 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2015

    The first year of mine and my SO’s relationship, I let him know I’m not changing my last name if we don’t get married before I publish.  I’m getting my Ph.D. in the sciences, so it’s very important for you to be known by your last name.  I’ve had two publications in the works for a couple years now (one from my undergrad and another that is a side project in my current grad program), and neither advisor has been in a huge rush to get them published… so that’s still in limbo.

    However, at the beginning of the year, I decided to change my career path from academia, so I figured the name change would be less of an issue (plus, I have a super uncommon first name… so I could just make sure to publish with my first name completely spelled out).  Now I’m thinking the last name change would just make sense for starting a family…

    Plus, his son has been under the impression up until a few months ago that my last name was the same as their’s.  I found that to be funny.  How nice would it be to share such a big thing with the 2 boys I love most?

    Post # 19
    3081 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    MrsRoberts52:  you should do what you want. I didn’t legally change my last name yet. I may do it once we have kids though. 

    Post # 20
    43 posts
    • Wedding: October 2014 - The Wayside Inn

    My parents hyphenated their last name, and it’s something I’ve appreciated my whole life. It’s REALLY long, but I’m extremely proud of it. My brother just goes by my dad’s family name, so that’s a choice your kids can make eventually, too. 

    The only tricky thing is what to do now that I’m getting married. I’m taking my fiancee’s name and keeping my own, but we’ll go by my mom’s maiden name and my fiancee’s last name hyphenated. (Not exactly sure what this will mean for me legally, but we’ll figure that out…)

    Post # 21
    13597 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    It’s fine to do – but I found it confusing for a while.  I legally changed my name, but my office took over a year to get everything processed and change it.  So, at work, I was Ms. X, and everywhere else, I was Mrs. Y.  It got confusing, I never knew how to introduce myself, and people who knew me by one name would get confused when they heard the other.  It was a nightmare. 

    Post # 22
    931 posts
    Busy bee

    I plan to have a personal alias without legally changing my last name. For some reason as I get older it is harder and harder to fathom changing my last name. Plus his name is at the end of the alphabet and mine is near the beginning…..the demotion kills me 😉 lol. 

    In the Netherlands it (was/is…not sure if it still is) customary for the wife to keep her maiden name, much like France. 

    Post # 23
    6444 posts
    Bee Keeper

    MrsRoberts52:  As a woman who originally was going to keep her maiden name and push it into the middle, I can relate to the whole “it’s my name!” thing.  I was positive I wanted to keep my maiden and move it into my middle name and just add his last name (I had this belief my last name was my identity), but as the time got closer, I sat and thought about it.  And realized my last name isn’t what makes me me, I am.  So it was easy to drop off the maiden name completely and choose his last name.  Several women in my work (professors, facultly, published authors) have kept their maiden name legally, but walk around socially with their husbands last name.  It works well for them, they go by either, but for any publications, it’s their maiden name.  For me, it wouldn’t work, I wanted to be matching with my husband and daughter.  For the published author makes total sense.

    it’s up to you though, what does your Fiance think?  I know my husband really wanted me to take his last name, he wouldn’t get all broken up about it if I didn’t, but I know he wanted me to have his last name socially at least.  He was surprised when I dropped off my maiden name completely, as he wasn’t expecting that.

    Post # 24
    1831 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    MrsRoberts52:  That’s what I do. I never changed my name. So legally and at work I use my maiden name. I never announced to family that I didn’t change it. So invitations and whatnot are addressed to my married name. I’m not concealing it… just not advertising that I never changed it. It wouldn’t be a big deal to anyone, and I certainly never correct people either way.

    Post # 26
    2847 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014


    MrsRoberts52:  I took my husband’s last name legally, but I also kept my maiden name as my middle name.  I use both names at work.  As in Jane Smith Jones.

    Post # 27
    9214 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    You should do it if that’s what you want to do, but I can imagine many situations where it might cause confusion since your credit cards/ID/etc. will be in your legal name, but you’ll be introducing yourself to people with a different name. But if you’re fine with dealing with those instances, then go for it!

    Post # 28
    6444 posts
    Bee Keeper

    MrsRoberts52:  It’s up to you in the end.  You’re the one with the name.  if it means a lot to you to keep your name, then keep it.  I had to get used to saying it as my last name instead of my maiden name.  I know that when I was transitioning from my maiden to my new, it was annoying to me because half of my stuff was in my new legal name and half of it was in my old maiden name.  you would avoid that by not changing it all.  But I would find it difficult for a new person to understand which one was my name.  For example if you introduced yourself to me as Mrs. Roberts, but I saw on paper you were Mrs. Doe, I would probably htink you were two separate people.

    Post # 29
    2837 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    MrsRoberts52:  I’m not die hard either way– you either want to change your name or not.  I do think that changing your name socially can be a bit confusing– does that mean when your friends want to address you verbally, they use your husband’s last name, but when they send you an invite to thier wedding, the address the envelope to Mr Roberts and Ms. XXXXX (your last name)?  

    I don’t know if you own a home or rent an apartment– but many apartments won’t deliver mail unless the correct name is on the envelope– meaning if you have an apartment with a lease and it has your legal name, then everyone better address your mail with you LEGAL name, not your social name– which means, in thoery, even your “social circle” has to know you by two names.  Even if you own a home, the mailman might get confused.  

    That’s just one potential problem I see right off the bat– 

    It seems like if you WANT to be known by your husband’s last name, you should consider changing it legally.  Just because you felt one way BEFORE Mr R came along, doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to change your mind.

    I choose to drop my legal middle name because I didn’t have any serious attachmetns to it– and so now I am Mrs. First Name, Maiden Name, Husband’s last name.  I think it’s the best of both worlds!!

    My son has an entirely different hyphenated last name, but it includes my maiden name- so now we still have an attachement in terms of names, but I got to take my husband’s last name. 

    Post # 30
    4161 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I haven’t changed my last name legally and our 3 year wedding anniversary is coming up in October.  Darling Husband was a little hurt, he really wanted me to change my name, but I said I wasn’t ready yet.  I go by Mrs. HisLastName when we’re together and we’re dining or at an event or something, but at work, my name has always stayed my maiden name.  On Facebook, I’ve gone between MyLastName-HisLastName (hyphanated) or just HisLastName.  I will be a real estate agent by the end of the year and it’s just too much of a hassle to change my name on EVERYTHING.  I also dislike his last name.  Nobody can pronounce it, it’s very ‘harsh’ sounding…My last name isn’t easy to pronounce either, but it’s better than his…lol.  When we have children, I will change my last name legally…until them, I’m staying with mine 😉

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